Boosting Positivity and Performance: A Case Study of Organizational Coaching

Boosting Positivity and Performance: A Case Study of Organizational Coaching

Nazlı Ayşe Ayyildiz Unnu (Ege University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch003
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Due to the trauma of the global recession, there is a need to move away from predominantly negative theories of organizational behavior to positively oriented ones that focus on developing psychological capital to achieve employees' full potential. Many organizations look to rebuild organizational life and “positivity” generally, “positive psychology interventions” specifically have much to offer that is needed. So, organizational coaching is discussed as a positive intervention, triggering improved workplace performance based on a case study in this chapter. The main data for the analysis comes from 10 in-depth interviews with coaches and coachees from a leading company in Turkey, in which an integrative coaching system is in place. The analysis revealed that coaching has positive individual and organizational level effects and channel people's psychological capacities toward achieving self-awareness, self-development, increase in positivity, and result in improved performance. The characteristics, enablers, and challenges of an ideal coaching system were also explored.
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Organizations are experiencing fundamental changes in the labour market (Archer & Yates, 2017) and nature of work (Miller, 1998; Tehubijuluw, 2016) due to the trauma of the global recession (Garcea & Linley, 2011). In the light of these changes, work cannot be considered as an effort removed from personal development anymore. Managers, whom were solely seen as organizational actors giving orders and whose role had no impact on development of their subordinates at one time, are considered as guides for individual development generally (Leigh, 1997) and psychological capital development specifically. So, there is a need to focus on positive theories of organizational behavior and management rather than predominantly negative ones, to develop psychological capital that leads to achieving employees’ full potential and end up with improved performance levels. In this contexti “positivity” and “coaching” as a positive psychology intervention offer what is needed (Garcea & Linley, 2011).

It is evident in literature that organizational coaching has significant positive effects on both individual and organizational outcomes. However, most of these studies are either a review of the research on coaching (Grover & Furnham, 2016; Williams & Palmer, 2015; Stober, 2005) or evaluate coaching process from only the executives’ perspectives, who are coached by external coaches (McGovern et al., 2001; Grant, Curtayne, & Burton, 2009). Howbeit, the perspectives of both parties should be taken into account to gain an in-depth insgiht regarding organizational coaching.

On the other hand, it is seen that there isn’t any study on organizational coaching in the Turkish context specifically. A group of studies investigate the effects of cognitive coaching in education and academic life (Duman, 2013; Demir & Doğanay, 2010; Kılıç & Demir, 2012; Bal, Bal, & Demir, 2011), whereas there are a few studies on managerial coaching behavior (Bayram, Yıldırım, & Ergan, 2017; Kalkavan, 2014). However, none of these studies are considering the link between coaching and positive psychology, which are both related with the improvement of performance and development of the individual (Linley & Harrington, 2005). Thus, it is aimed to shed light on the organizational coaching as a positive intervention in the Turkish context in this chapter. Besides, it is aimed to fulfill the gap in literature regarding the characteristicts, enablers, challenges of an ideal organizational coaching system based on the views of both coachees and internal coaches.

This chapter consists of seven different sections. In this section, a general evaluation and the aim of the chapter is given. In the background section, the emergence of positive psychology and its reflections on the organizations, and the link between positivity and coaching is shared to point out why coaching can be considered as a positive organizational intervention. Then the history, concept and forms of coaching are presented. The studies in Turkish context are examined to emphasize the lack of studies on organizational coaching in the last part of the background section. In the third section, details regarding the methodology is given. In the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sections; findings and discussions, practice implications, future research directions and conclusion parts are shared, respectively.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Positive Psychological Capital: Psychological resources, such as self-efficacy, hope, resilience and optimism, which are termed as “positive psychological capital” collectively.

Positive Organizational Intervention: A strengths-based intervention, which aims to increase individual and organizational performance.

Organizational Coaching: A positive organizational intervention that aims to improve organizational performance by triggering positive organizational behaviors.

Coaching: A developmental intervention aiming to increase awareness regarding problems, and/or situations in general and self-awareness in specific.

Positive Organizational Scholarship: An approach that focuses on the positive dynamics in organizations.

Positive Psychology: A discipline that focuses on the well-being of people by triggering the strengths of them.

Positive Organizational Behavior: An approach within organizational behavior that focuses on major individual strengths to increase organizational performance.

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