The role of peer coaching on the learning process in a South African insurance company

Naidoo, Wendy Anne
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The business environment faces constant change due to the dynamic socio-economic, political and technological landscape. With these changes, there is a demand for organisations to adapt and have the right skills to remain competitive. Organisations have not developed their learning capabilities to adequately cope with change (Senge, 2014). Creating an organization that learns and adapts speedily and continuously is a challenge that faces business. While learning takes place both informally and formally in the workplace, formal learning is seen as less effective in transferring training (Saks, 2002). This study explored the role of peer coaching on the learning process. Fifteen participants‘ experiences were explored using a qualitative approach by means of in-depth unstructured interviews. The qualitative approach enabled the researcher to gain full appreciation of the participants‘ experience by allowing them to share freely and openly. The fifteen participants attended a self-leadership course that included a peer coaching component that involved seven of the fifteen participants. The research revealed minimal differences between the learning experiences of those who were in a peer coach relationship and those that were not. The themes of self-reflection, learning from others and support from others emerged the strongest in terms of its impact on the learning process. While the extensive learning theories were developed to understand how people learn, it was evident in this study that while adult learning is self-directed to a large extent, the structural characteristics of organizations provide the framework of the situations in which experience dictates the expediency of change and learning. The value of the peer coach relationship in facilitating the process of learning was also evident as one of the enablers of learning. This study provides insights on the value of peer coaching as an additional enabler of learning and adds to the body of limited literature on the role of peer coaching within business environments.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management (Business Executive Coaching).
Naidoo, Wendy Anne (2016) The role of peer coaching on the learning process in a South African insurance company, University of the Witwatersrand, <>