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Joanna Molyn & Professor David Gray

The role and effectiveness of coaching in increasing Higher Education students’ self-efficacy, outcome expectancies and employability efforts

Theme: Coaching
Area: Approach/School/Theory
Type: Research (with examples of how it could be applied in practice)

Session on Wednesday, Jun 14th, 15:25
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The presentation will discuss the quantitative and qualitative findings of the quasi-experimental, longitudinal mixed-methods doctoral research into the effectiveness of career coaching in increasing HE students’ self-efficacy, outcome expectancies and employability efforts. It will also present its findings in relation to factors affecting students’ self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations and employability efforts such as: gender, ethnicity, perceived social support, socioeconomic status, cultural influences and gender role models.

This study looks at the coaching as an employability enhancing tool for universities that addresses the issues of lack of social capital and lack of role models for students’ in post-1992 universities. The research recognizes that there is a need, for the post-1992 Universities in particular, to address and integrate sociocultural context into career services (Gloria and Hird, 1999; Leung, 1995) and into universities’ employability efforts.

The study analyses the above sociocultural factors in the context of the changing role of Higher Education resulting from governments’ pressure on universities to increase students’ employability efforts (HEA, 2012). This study follows the perspective that the role of Higher Education is to empower students, to foster personal development, intellectual debate, self-actualization and to offer opportunities to develop students’ full potential, regardless of students’ background and wealth.


Joanna Molyn (BSc(Econ), MBA, Cert Ed, Cert Coaching) is a Senior Lecturer in the A&F department. Her PhD investigates ‘The Role and Effectiveness of Coaching in Increasing Students’ Self-Efficacy, Outcome Expectancies and Employability Efforts.’ Joanna is an academic researcher with a background in City finance (Dresdner/Allianz), Organisational Development consultancy and Management consultancy. As a trained coach she has designed and has been delivering Growth Mindset coaching workshops to A&F Year 2 students since 2010. Prior to that she designed and facilitated two leadership and innovation development programmes for the BBC, a coaching workshop for the marketing Division of BNY Mellon on ‘The Commercial Value of Innovation’ and a FLASH-funded coaching workshop at the University of Greenwich ‘Innovation is a State of Mind’ for London-based SMEs. Joanna has presented her PhD research in two consecutive years at the Institute of Coaching (IoC) at Harvard Medical School. She is currently working on a R&R of the bid ‘The Common Factors Model of Coaching Effectiveness: Lessons from Psychotherapy Outcome Research to the IoC at Harvard Medical School’ with Professor David Gray and Professor Erik de Haan from Ashridge Business School.

Professor David E. Gray (BSc (Econ), MA(Ed), MSc, Cert Ed., PhD, FRSA) is Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Greenwich. His research interests, and publication record, include research methods, management learning (particularly coaching and mentoring), professional identity, action learning, reflective learning, management learning in SMEs and the factors that contribute to SME success. He has published books (Doing Research in the Business World (2017), Doing Research in the Real World (2014) 3rd edition), A Critical Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring: Debates, Dialogues and Discourses (2016) (with Bob Garvey and David Lane) and articles on research methods, organizational learning, and coaching and mentoring. David has led a number of EU-funded research programmes including one examining the impact of coaching on the resilience of unemployed managers in their job-searching behaviours and another on how action learning can sustain unemployed managers in starting their own business. David is a member of the International Editorial Board of Management Learning and Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice.