Title: The coaching continuum: power dynamics in the change process

Authors: Pauline Fatien Diochon; Kathi J. Lovelace

Addresses: Department of Management, Menlo College, Atherton, California, USA ' Department of Management, Menlo College, Atherton, California, USA

Abstract: This paper builds on the literature that explores the renewed form of power in postmodern organisations. Specifically, it explores the practice of executive coaching. Using an interpretive approach and an adbuctive method, the article confirms and illustrates the critical literature that analyses coaching as a practice for organisational control. However, by uncovering acts of affirmative resistance generated by the active engagement of the coachee in the coaching process, our analysis nuances the totalitarian dimension of coaching. Rather we identify a juxtaposition of power dynamics represented along a continuum that are navigated through the coachee's acts of resistance. The concept of the continuum portraying coaching as a malleable space adds to the literature that positions coaching as an 'uncertain process' by articulating its ambiguity with its malleability.

Keywords: executive coaching; affirmative resistance; conformation; critical management studies; work innovation; power dynamics; change process; postmodern organisations; organisational control.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2015.074171

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2015 Vol.1 No.3, pp.305 - 322

Received: 08 May 2013
Accepted: 13 May 2014

Published online: 13 Jan 2016 *

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