The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors impacting successful coaching of expatriates.
Data were gathered from 25 semi-structured interviews of coached expatriates, coaches and HR professionals. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyze and interpret the data.
Altogether, 16 factors impacting expatriate coaching success were identified. They were categorized with respect to the four-quadrant framework of Wilber. The findings suggest, for example, that coaching success is impacted by: from the coach and coachee as individuals perspective, international experience of the coach; from the coaching relationship perspective, coaching language and managerial leadership style; from the behaviors, processes, models and techniques perspective, a clear contract with objectives and evaluation, and challenging behavior of the coach; and from the systems perspective, organizational support.
Coaching processes, tools and techniques should be adapted to the needs and situation of the assignee. It would be beneficial if organizations ensured that their coaches are internationally experienced and that their managerial leadership style supports coaching. Coaching should be clearly defined and contracted with goals and evaluation. Coaching tools and techniques suitable for international coaching should be added to coach-training programs.
Given the paucity of expatriate coaching research, and the fact that expatriation continues to be a key component of the international management field, this paper contributes to coaching and expatriate research by identifying factors that give expatriate coaching success and by analyzing and presenting them using Wilber’s systemic four-quadrant framework.
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