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Executive Coaching in the International Context

E Alvarez 2019

Executive coaching is a multidisciplinary concept and intervention that companies acquire in order to help the constant development of their employees as well as, to overcome problems in the workplace. This concept is normally confused and compared with therapy, training, counseling, mentoring and con-sulting from which the differences are established. Executive coaching has evolved more on the field than it has theoretically, meaning the theorizing of it is not as advance as any other developmental theories. Main background theories on which executive coaching is based on are adult learning, adult development, person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, systems, transition and change theories. Due to global trends that have increased the mobility of the work-force in the companies, people with different backgrounds come into contact. This in turn, has caused executive coaching to confront different challenges that come from working in international contexts by utilizing frameworks that link the traditional executive coaching models with some inter-cultural theories. These new frameworks may present different characteristics to the participants of the executive coaching, different reasons for the intervention and different outcomes. This thesis analyzes the specific characteristics of executive coaching in the international context. Show-ing special aspects of it such as challenges, coach’s traits, processes and frameworks. This overall, to show the coaching community, especially the coaches, a certain guideline of how international coaching is being processed and raise awareness of why understanding international coaching is important. In this research, the methodological approach used is a qualitative one. The method to collect the data is the use of semi-structured interviews with 10 executive coaches from around the world. After, the data collected is interpreted and contrasted to the previously established theoretical background to present an answer to the main questions of this thesis. Among the main characteristics found, when working in an international context the coach must have high levels of self-awareness and openness and have lived in a different country to their own, among oth-ers. As for the process, this was the biggest finding because it stages an ‘extra step’ that is normally omit-ted when the cultural differences are minimum working domestically. Finally, regarding the focus of the intervention, internationally, it deals with expatriation, stress-management, raising self-awareness and cultural differences management. There were no big differences found regarding the coacher’s traits, out-comes or frameworks.

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