Just how morally and ethically acceptable is executive and developmental coaching?

Research Briefing

Keywords: coaching, executive coaching, developmental coaching, ethics, morality

A small but growing number of thinkers and researchers have been challenging the ethics and morality of developmental and executive style coaching. Whilst to many developmental and executive coaching can only be a force for good, significant disquiet is growing about the activities that such coaching necessarily entails.

Part of the problem is the complex and paradoxical concept of personal development and what the idea of ‘the self’ is or should be. One of the core axioms of both personal development and development of coaching is that it is essentially a reflective and introspective process, in that it requires the individual to think about one’s self in terms of how that individual is ‘performing’, ‘being’ or behaving. However, this introspection isn’t one of seeking acceptance of who they are and how they behave, rather, it is a process of attempting change and ‘development’. The question is, therefore, change to what and according to whose definition?

This research is essential reading for every organisational and executive coach and coaching supervisor.

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