It Takes Two to Tango : Building Intercultural Coaching Relationships : a German-Mexican Context

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Title: It Takes Two to Tango : Building Intercultural Coaching Relationships : a German-Mexican Context
Author: Külpmann, Katharina
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Maailman kulttuurien laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för världens kulturer
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Area and Cultural Studies
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: In the past decades coaching as a human resource development tool has gained significant attention. In many countries around the world it is a flowering industry with many practitioners constantly entering the field, causing the amount intercultural coaching dyads to rise. The existing research corpus explores the coaching service from different angles, e.g. with regards to techniques or effectiveness. Most literature underscores the importance of the coach-coachee relationship; however, few studies transform this into an investigation topic. Even less attention is paid to this topic in an intercultural setting. This research shall consequently identify the aspects that act in the establishment of a coach-coachee relationship within a German-Mexican context. Furthermore, the influence of culture, especially national culture, will be examined. The thesis has three central aims. Firstly, this investigation shall enlarge the scarce research on the topic. Secondly, the data is examined from a modern cultural paradigm where culture is understood as a not self-evident or structured attribute, but a constructed creation between individuals. Thirdly, implications for practitioners in intercultural coaching shall be brought forwards. In accordance with the ontological understanding of human interaction and in line with the understanding of the concept of culture, the exploration of this thesis’s topic is done with the help of qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews with an interpretivist-constructivist thematic content analysis technique lead to meaningful results. As a core result, this research shows a large variety of relationship-building aspects in intercultural coaching which is due to a subjective assessment of the influence of culture on relationship, coaching and intercultural encounters. In this regards, a cultural lens was identified that has a predominantly positivistic, essentialist and static understanding of culture. Moreover, correlations between cultural understanding, the understanding of coaching and the depth of relationship are shown. All research participants further build and assess the coaching relationship with the help of multicollective, dynamic and interpersonal factors, indicating a modern cultural understanding, to co-create the reciprocal relationship and coaching culture. Practitioners may consequently want to courageously, and willingly, reconsider and ‘un-learn’ cultural concepts in order to avoid an overestimation of cultural influence in interactions, to meet the client’s needs and to live up to the diversification of culture.
Subject: interculturality
modern paradigm
cultural qualitative research

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