Coaching in organisations: how the use of fictional characters can develop coaching practice

Article


Eastman, C. 2016. Coaching in organisations: how the use of fictional characters can develop coaching practice. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. 5 (4), pp. 318-333. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-06-2016-0048
TypeArticle
TitleCoaching in organisations: how the use of fictional characters can develop coaching practice
AuthorsEastman, C.
Abstract

Purpose
This article consists of a case study that reports on a pedagogical intervention undertaken among a group of postgraduate students in the area of coaching. The intervention was designed to bridge the gulf between coaching theory and practice, a gap identified by
coaching research and corroborated by professional practice students on the university course examined here.
Design/methodology/approach
The study gives an account of how literary fiction was used with a cohort of students as a source of hypothetical scenarios used to simulate workplace problems and as a simulative context in which coaching students could apply theoretical models to make-believe scenarios. In this case study, the author evaluates the success of this innovative pedagogical methodology based on a qualitative analysis of excerpts from students’ written work.
Findings
The author advocates the use of literary fictional texts as a means of enhancing coach training and makes a case for the benefits of exposing students to literary fiction as part of a rich humanities curriculum. Reading about how fictional characters negotiate the terrain of life and work can help coaching students to create stronger, more creative narratives in their work-based projects.
Originality/value
Exploring how fictional characters respond to challenges in the workplace (and in life generally) will support students to formulate their own coaching interventions in a more coherent fashion. The article contends that stories are the cornerstone of learning, and that educators can support students to explore issues of core identity, (in)coherent life themes and narrative representation in students’ professional practice by getting them to read fiction

KeywordsProfessional practice; Humanities; Coaching; Academic writing; Literary fiction
Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
PublisherEmerald
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
ISSN2046-6854
Publication dates
Print05 Dec 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Sep 2016
Accepted07 Sep 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-06-2016-0048
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84995632327
Web of Science identifierWOS:000393475800004
LanguageEnglish
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