The Coaching Ripple Effect: The Individual and Systemic Level Influence of Leadership Development

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The Coaching Ripple Effect: The Individual and Systemic Level Influence of Leadership Development

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Summary: 

How the quality of the complex web of daily interactions effect the wellbeing of individuals and the broader wellbeing of an organisation is largely unknown. Often organisations embark on leadership development programs in an attempt to influence systemic level change of organisational culture or wellbeing. Most approaches assume a linear model that does not take the complexity of organisations seriously. Leadership development through Coaching has shown positive results for individual level measures of wellbeing and relationships exist between leadership style, employee stress and wellbeing (Skakon, Nielsen, Borg and Guzman, 2010). What is largely unknown is how change in leaders can impact these variables through influencing the experience of others in an organisation. Can this influence ripple through the broader complex dynamics of an organisation? Complex Adaptive Systems theory (CAS; Eidleson, 1997) provides a useful approach to thinking about organisational change and the wellbeing of individuals embedded in these systems (Cavanagh, 2006). The relatively new methodology of Social Network Analysis (SNA; Scott, 2000) provides researchers with processes that better account for relational components of systems, highlighted in CAS.

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