Coaching i organisationen - Når coachen også er leder

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Mia Wethje Søndergaard
  • Magnus Bach Andreasen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)


This master thesis about coaching explores how a coach’s dual role as coach and leader affects the content and process of the coaching session and the communicative interaction between the coach and the person being coached. The results generally show two different patterns:

The first pattern is related to the coach’s coaching role. When the coach is acting in her coaching role, she is both dialogic and reflective, because she asks questions and gives the persons being coached the opportunity to express themselves during the coaching sessions. At the same time the coach acts irreverently and curiously, because she seems interested in and willing to include multiple perspectives. When the coach is in the coaching role she allows the conversation to take place on the terms of the persons being coached, as she accepts the different perspectives brought into the conversation by the persons being coached.

The second pattern is associated with the coach’s leader role. When the coach acts as a leader, the conversation takes place on the terms of the leader, which means that the conversation is basically focused on solutions, and the subjects being discussed are quickly dealt with. At the same time the coach uses the formal power she possesses by her position as a leader, which is shown by the fact that she dictates, reproves and controls the employees being coached. This clearly affects the behaviour and discipline of the employees being coached - they allow themselves to be disciplined and controlled by the coach, and they submit to the rules set up by the coach/leader. In this case, the power is found to be productive, because it creates a progression to the coaching session and at the same time it leads to decisions as to the solutions of problems brought up by the employees being coached.

During the coaching sessions, we have repeatedly seen examples of how the two roles of both the coach and the persons being coached mutually influence each other. It is the coach's role as a coach/leader, which generally directs the role of the persons being coached. This is due to the formal power the coach possesses in the position as a leader, controlling and trying to organize the behaviour of the persons being coached. This causes the persons being coached to play the role of a dutiful and responsible employee. This may be an indication that the employees find it difficult to contradict their coach, because the coach possesses the power of the formal leader.
Furthermore, the employee-role highlights the coach’s role as a leader. This is expressed by the fact that the employees being coached directly ask for the coach’s approvals – approvals, of which the employees are ware, could be provided by their coach in her capacity as their leader.

Publication date30 May 2013
Number of pages95
External collaboratorAnonym
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ID: 76949245