Behind the Scenes in the Identity Laboratory: Participants' Narratives of Identity Transition through Group Coaching in a Leadership Development Programme

32 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2009

Date Written: February 10, 2009

Abstract

This study examined written narratives of 28 participants' experience in one executive leadership development programme, to shed light on the way they explore and experiment with new working identities in the leadership development identity laboratory. It adopted a mixed-method approach. A series of six programme-related case studies per individual was analysed, written over a period of 15 months. Findings from this study were presented to the group after the end of the programme. As the author was also a participant in the programme, the methodology was qualitative and hermeneutic, with the author using "self as instrument". The narratives were studied through a conceptual interpretation approach. They show participants moving through an epigenic process similar to group psychotherapy. The study shows that group psychotherapy can be adapted to create an identity laboratory experience for executives, and that the process of writing can be a critical success factor in executives' passage through an identity lab experience.

Keywords: Identity Laboratories, Identity Transition Narratives, Leadership Coaching, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Evaluation of Leadership Development Programmes, Group Psychotherapy

Suggested Citation

Florent-Treacy, Elizabeth, Behind the Scenes in the Identity Laboratory: Participants' Narratives of Identity Transition through Group Coaching in a Leadership Development Programme (February 10, 2009). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2009/11/IGLC/WICFE. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1340332 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1340332

Elizabeth Florent-Treacy (Contact Author)

Independent

No Address Available

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