Original Research

Coaching for development of leaders’ awareness of integrity: An evidence-based approach

Liesl van der Walt, Salome van Coller-Peter
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 51, No 1 | a1943 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v51i1.1943 | © 2020 Liesl van der Walt, Salome van Coller-Peter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 January 2020 | Published: 30 October 2020

About the author(s)

Liesl van der Walt, University of Stellenbosch Business School, University of Stellenbosch, Bellville, South Africa
Salome van Coller-Peter, University of Stellenbosch Business School, University of Stellenbosch, Bellville, South Africa


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Abstract

Purpose: There is a need for leading with integrity to contribute to sustainable effectiveness and performance in the organisational context. The purpose of this research was to provide insight into the elements that could facilitate the development of leaders’ awareness of integrity to support positive leader outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was the research design, and purposive, convenience sampling was utilised to select six leaders. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with these leaders and reflective notes of the researcher as coach to explore leaders’ experience of the contribution of coaching to the development of awareness of integrity.

Findings/results: Based on the experiences of these leaders, the findings suggest that even a small number of coaching sessions using a strengths-based approach contributed towards an increase in awareness of the importance of integrity. Positive leader outcomes were also identified. The study supports the use of a strengths-based approach to coaching, such as a solution-focussed cognitive-behavioural (SF-CB) approach, whilst coaching leaders.

Practical implications: The findings have implications for organisations and coaches. The findings confirm the selection of coaching as a suitable intervention to develop awareness of integrity and achieve positive leader outcomes. Findings provide evidence to guide human resources professionals whilst deciding on an appropriate intervention for leader development. In addition, coaches could base their selection of an approach on the evidence supporting the use of an SF-CB coaching approach in the context of developing leaders’ awareness of the importance of integrity.

Originality/value: The findings highlight the efficacy of using a strengths-based approach – specifically an SF-CB approach – to increase leaders’ awareness of integrity and drive positive leader outcomes.


Keywords

usiness coaching; character; integrity; leader awareness; leader development.

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