Do mental health stigma and gender influence MBAs’ willingness to engage in coaching?
International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Article publication date: 4 November 2014
While much research has been done on how attitudes toward therapy relate to engagement in it, the willingness to engage in coaching has not yet been studied. As coaching continues to grow in popularity and makes its way into curricula of Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, it is worth examining what factors may influence people's attitudes toward this new type of psychological support. With frequently noticed and discussed similarities between coaching and therapy, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether particular antecedents of engagement in therapy, namely mental health stigma and gender, would be equally relevant for engagement in coaching by MBA students.
This was survey research with 54 MBAs at a major European business school.
The results suggest that while gender does influence an individual's attitude toward therapy, it does not influence an individual's attitude toward coaching. Stigma, however, still impacts attitudes toward both therapy and coaching.
This paper focusses on attitudes. Further research could explore how closely attitudes result in specific behaviors, such as requesting a coach or agreeing to be coached when suggested by MBA program educators.
Implications concern positioning of coaching within MBA programs and preparation of coaches and educators.
Gender neutrality of willingness to engage in coaching suggests opportunities for acceptance of other forms of psychological support.
This paper is one of the early investigations of willingness to be coached, particularly in the MBA context.
The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive help with this paper.
Anne Millard, J. and Korotov, K. (2014), "Do mental health stigma and gender influence MBAs’ willingness to engage in coaching?", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 277-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-01-2014-0001
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