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Mark Robson

How do internal coaches perceive ‘being’ a coach in their organisational context?

Theme: Context
Area: Coaching
Type: Research (on-going)

Session on Wednesday, Jun 14th, 16:50
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Internal coaches are increasingly deployed within organisations to deliver coaching interventions. This paper reports on the initial findings of a study, part of an ongoing PhD research project, seeking to explore the relationship between internal coaches and their organisation, from the perspective of the coaches themselves. A questionnaire was distributed (between October 2016 and January 2017), via gatekeepers, to generate a snowball sample (n>450). The questionnaire design extended motivation-to-mentor research findings to explore the coaches’ perceptions of ‘being’ an internal coach in their organisational context. A combination of closed and open questions, and statements evaluated by coaches on a 5-point likert scale were employed. A picture is emerging of a) the nature of internal coaches’ practices (training, qualifications, time spent coaching, supervision), b) the factors that lead employees to become internal coaches, and, c) how they perceive themselves as coaches, in relation to their clients, their line manager, and the organisation that employs them. The findings contribute to the understanding of this growing group of coaches.


Mark Robson started a career in industry in 1984, having completed his first degree, in Biochemistry, at the University of Sheffield in the UK. Mark spent time in the brewing industry, chiefly in operations roles, and then moved into food manufacturing, firstly in operations, then supply chain planning, and finally procurement. Today he is the R&D and Purchasing Director of a European company that manufactures detergents. In his current role he is also an internal coach, and in 2014 completed his masters degree in Coaching & Mentoring at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Mark’s dissertation for that degree was an ethnographic study of the introduction of internal supervisors, of which he was one, to the coaching scheme. In 2015 Mark started his PhD journey at York St John University in the UK. His research interest is in the relationship between internal coaches and their organisation. He is curious to understand how internal coaches perceive ‘being’ a coach in their organisational context.