Now showing 1 - 10 of 27
  • Publication
    Ein organisationstheoretischer Ansatz zur Erforschung diskursiver Prozesse im Management Coaching
    (Springer Nature, 2016-09)
    An Organizational Theory Framework to Exploring Discursive Processes in Management Coaching Based on a critical examination of current approaches to coaching within the interdisciplinary organizational studies, this contribution stresses the necessity to differentiate more strongly the context in coaching, to focus on the constitutive processes of coaching and to ask more critical questions concerning the efficacy of the interventions. A process-oriented discursive concept is presented which meets these three exigencies and allows to examine coaching along the following three processual levels: coaching as conversation, coaching as organizational intervention and coaching as socio-historical phenomenon. Concrete implications for coaching research are illustrated with the help of examples from an empirical project. As such, the article contributes to developing an alternative theoretical understanding of coaching, offers methods to investigate coaching processes and underlines the organization-theoretical perspective of the empirical approach.
  • Publication
    Service Workers Emotional Experiences of Autonomy and Control in their Relationship to Mobile Technologies
    Our paper explores how inanimate objects relate to emotions of autonomy and control, by studying relationships workers develop with communication and information technologies (CIT) in two different knowledge-intensive service firms. Drawing on psychoanalytic objectrelations theory, we develop an alternative approach to emotions by suggesting that workers build inner representations of important agents, which form the basis of bi-directional relationship experiences. Methodologically, our paper presents ego-map interviews as a means to illustrate the character and intensity of these relationships. Our empirical findings indicate that expectations of co-workers towards CIT are internalized, and consequently influence workers‘ feelings of being controlled through CIT. Drawing on Winnicott, we argue that CIT may be understood as «transitional objects», through which workers attempt to reduce psychological pressures that result from the internalized expectation to constantly perform and be «turned on».
  • Publication
    Business coaching : The translation of the therapeutic habitus into the managerial realm
    (EGOS European Group for Organizational Studies, 2011-07-07) ;
    The aim of this paper is to trace the processes of translation through which coaching transports, transforms and transgresses therapeutic discourses into the managerial realm. Our empirical analysis, firstly, shows the architectures of coaching as a site of translation between two professional fields, management and therapy. Second, our analysis reveals that coaching as discursive practice is formed through the contextualized interplay between several more or less dominant discourses into relational patterns or translative moves with distinctive effects such as assimilation, unfolding or countering. In the discussion, we suggest that the described translative process is itself situated in and fueled by a larger socio-cultural transformations towards the agenda of what has been termed soft and emotional capitalism (Thrift, 1996; Illouz, 2007). This paper thus documents that coaching like no other psy-practice in management, aligns through various translative moves the intimacy of the therapeutic with the aims of improving managers (self-) management functions
  • Publication
    Coaching : Between creating visions and impairing vision
    (SCOS, 2010-07-07)
    Work coaching has become a frequently used organizational intervention, but is hardly researched. The rhetorical legitimation of this practice often lies within the heritage of Human Relations' functionalistic logic and its focus on cultivating the happy-performative worker. While positive effects of coaching have been extensively discussed in the practitioner and academic literature, critical reflection of this emerging field is rare. This contribution discusses three blind spots of work coaching in the literature: coaching by prescription, coaching as a deflector of organizational conflicts and coaching's role in intensifying techniques of the self. These considerations, the analysis of illustrative case examples and narrative interviews leads to the consideration of coaching as a disciplinary practice. Furthermore, based on a critical-dialogical position I argue that coaching conversations can also be understood as a reflective practice. In a modest way such conversations may enable spaces for alternative visions which supplement the dominant paradigm. In sum, this paper seeks to deepen the perspective on the political dimension of the use of coaching in organizational settings.
  • Publication
    In Search of Organization Consulting´s Other: Introducing Poststructural Organization Theory to Systemic Practices of Consulting
    (The Management Consultant Division - Academy of Management and IFF - Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies, 2009-06-13) ; ;
    The management consulting sector exhibits a remarkable homogeneity when it comes to its prevailing paradigm and, related therewith, its preferred subjectivity (i.e. being). In concrete terms, the consulting sector largely depends on a rationalistic model which fosters, among other things, the view that the world can be subdivided into workable data; that those data are to be viewed as objective, stable facts; that those facts can be analyzed in an unbiased manner; and that they can subsequently be used to support the decision making of management. The aim of the present contribution is two-fold: first, to critically reflect the prevailing management consulting literature against the backdrop of (poststructuralist) organization theory. The second and related objective is to find ways to render the respective insights amenable to practice. The argument will reveal along the following three steps. In the first step, the rationalistic heritage of consulting is brought to light, which holds, for instance, that consulting forms a linear process based on sound planning, implementation and monitoring. Second, in an attempt to transcend the individualist, realist and rationalist grounding of management consulting, reference will be made to poststructural organization theory which is supposed to decouple consulting from its rationalist, progressive presumption. The third part is devoted to reflect on the practical application of a non-realist approach. Systemic consulting approaches will therefore be summoned and blended with the tenets of poststructural thinking. Potential synergies between the two streams of thought will be discussed on the basis of a consulting project carried out in a large non-profit organization.
  • Publication
    Counseling in High Performance Organizations : Individuel reenactment of todays universities performatiy discourse
    (Conference Proceedings, 2009-05-14) ; ;
    Context An intensive change process concerning the curricula in German speaking universities has been initialized through the Bologna Process. This process is accompanied with higher pressure for students to adjust their vita according to the demands of the labor market early in their studies. With the uncertain development of the labor market, fears of recession and out-sourcing of many traditional jobs, the pressure towards "performance biographies" has increased in almost all academic sectors. At the same time reports on the health of students are showing an alarming level of mental health problems, abuse of alcohol and drugs as well as high prescription rates of psychotropic drugs. In this context counseling approaches have gained importance at universities. The question arising here is, which type of counseling approach renders sustainable in the described climate of performativity. Diagnosis The University of St. Gallen was the first University in Switzerland to adapt the Bologna Reforms. Extensive data from the counseling center shows an increase of students who seek coaching in order to "optimizing their performance". At the same time these students report feeling a high level of pressure and show psychosomatic or depressive symptoms. In this regard counseling stands in the ethic dilemma of fulfilling the clients wish of "optimizing performance", thus standing in danger of pushing student over their boundaries and helping them genuinely cope with the workload associated stress. Solution Solution focused counseling has proven to be an excellent method to integrate both needs for students, often at the same time. This counseling method encourages students to look for new solutions by questioning their mindsets, offering a mental room for critical reflection and encouraging them to seek different perspectives on their situation. Outcome Experience has shown that escaping the logic of "more of the same behavior will lead to a better performance" is often the key to regaining mental functioning and at the same time regaining the ability to perform again. Even though symptoms are often severe at the beginning of counseling, average counseling duration lies between one and two sessions and only few student need additional psychotherapeutic support. Reflection A systematic evaluation is needed to undermine the reported effects. Further research should also concentrate on preventive aspects, encouraging students to actively seek room away from professional activities. As the rising pressure of performativity is not just an issue at universities, effects on organizations are to be discussed in the reflection.