(un)coachable - The individualization of work-related stress and how organizations and employees perceive life coaching as a potential remedy

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Title: (un)coachable Authors: Lena Andres and Karlijn de Wijs Supervisor: Roland Paulsen Keywords: Organizational stress management, life coaching, work-related stress Thesis purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the experience of life coaching as an additional stress management strategy for organizations to prevent and reduce work-related stress. Therewith gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of work-related stress on both employees and organizations and how they experience stress-reducing tools. Methodology: The thesis is based on qualitative research with a grounded approach that has been inspired by symbolic interactionism. The empirical data has been collected through observations at the research site and two rounds of semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions to gain more insight into the personal perceptions of life coaching. Theoretical framework: The theoretical framework presents the impacts of work-related stress on the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals, and the economic impact on organizations. Moreover, it presents what organizations are currently doing to reduce or prevent stress and the principle of life coaching as a stress-reducing or preventing strategy. Empirical data: The empirical foundation consists of ten interviews conducted at an organization located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It also includes two interviews with self-employed life coaches, to create a wider perspective on the current situational context. Findings: The contribution of this study is that even though the research site is an organization that knows a multitude of stress management strategies, employees still experience work-related stress and additional action is needed. There is a great opportunity for life coaching to be implemented as an additional organizational stress management tool to aid employees in their stress reduction and prevention and improve organizational performance. However, our findings show that there are also challenges when implementing life coaching, specifically the conflict of interests between individuals and organizational goals, which might limit the effect of life coaching.

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