The perceptions of a women’s coaching group in a South African business school context

The context of this study relates to the perceptions of a women’s coaching group in the business school context. The aim of this research is to explore ways in which group coaching, social capital, well-being, workplace engagement and job satisfaction can be improved in the workplace. Participants who attended the women’s coaching group and those who did not attend were interviewed, in face-to-face interviews, to gain a rich understanding of the perceptions and experiences of coaching. Thematic analysis was used to establish the themes that emerged from the interview transcripts. The findings of this study indicate that the perception of coaching, particularly by participants with limited exposure to coaching, is ambiguous and misinformed. The perception of coaching by participants who attended coaching was altered upon experiencing group coaching first-hand. The first impression was that coaching is a possible mechanism to vent (whereby employees come together to complain about work related issues), however the experience revealed group coaching to be solution focused, a space to reflect and a place where a sense of solidarity is experienced by women who attended. The group coaching in this study enhanced the perceived social capital for participants which influenced their perception of their workplace engagement and job satisfaction in a positive way. Post coaching session’s participants felt re-energised and better equipped to perform their tasks within the broader organisation. The perception of well-being is subjective. Within this study, factors contributing to the perception of well-being were a sense of belonging, the relationship between the individual and the organisation, and the acknowledgment of the individual as a multifaceted being. Staff growth and development, promoting social capital and inclusion in the workplace are important human resource factors which enhance the perception of well-being, job satisfaction and promote employee engagement in the workplace. Within in this study, the female participants expressed a great need within a patriarchal organisation to acknowledge the authenticity of individuals and to encourage the expression of emotion in the workplace.
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 in the field of Business Executive Coaching, Johannesburg 2018