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An investigation of the three-way joint coaching alliance: a social identity theory perspective

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This study builds upon the previous research that recognised coaching as a triangular political space generating power relationships. We integrate social identity theory into this power negotiation process and consider that the ultimate purpose of coaching is to facilitate a shared coaching identity among all related collaborators. To gain in-depth understanding of factors that promote a three-way joint coaching identity; we conducted 25 critical incident interviews and two levels of Q-sorting (n = 10) with coaches, coachees and organisational stakeholders. The research results indicated that a workplace coaching identity is a flexible space underpinned by coaches’ attitude, all collaborators’ positions and the contracting process. Coaches’ accommodated communication techniques determine the relationship climate (instrumental or influential). Coaches’ position in the coaching space regulates their self-interests and motivation to change. Moreover, a transparent contracting process encourages communication flows and psychological exchanges among all collaborators that may gain more support from stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: An International Review
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 31 Oct 2019


  • Final_Main_Text_An_investigation_of_the_three_way_joint_coaching_alliance_A_social_identity_theory_perspec

    Rights statement: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Lai, Y. and Smith, H. (2019), An investigation of the three‐way joint coaching alliance: A social identity theory perspective. Applied Psychology, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/apps.12231. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 460 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 31/10/20

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