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The role and effectiveness of coaching in increasing career decision self-efficacy, outcome expectations and employability efforts of higher education students

The role and effectiveness of coaching in increasing career decision self-efficacy, outcome expectations and employability efforts of higher education students

Molyn, Joanna ORCID: 0000-0002-8309-5062 (2018) The role and effectiveness of coaching in increasing career decision self-efficacy, outcome expectations and employability efforts of higher education students. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

This quasi-experimental, longitudinal mixed-methods research study examines the link between career coaching, career self-efficacy, and the employability efforts of Higher Education (HE) students. It investigates the effectiveness of career coaching in increasing students’ career self-efficacy and their employability efforts. It also examines what aspects of the coaching relationship are most effective in changing students’ career self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations and the employability efforts.

The study analyses the above factors in the context of the changing role of Higher Education. It argues that the role of Higher Education is to empower students and it explores whether there is a need for the post-1992 universities to address the issues of gender, ethnicity, perceived social support, socioeconomic status, cultural influences and gender role models in their employability strategy. It positions coaching as an employability enhancing strategic tool. Social Cognitive Career Theory is used as the main theoretical framework as it recognises the links between psychological and social effects of gender and ethnicity, the social-cultural environment and career opportunity structures.

The study finds that students reported many benefits of career coaching, despite the lack of statistical significance of the impact of the career coaching intervention. Coaching in this research has been redefined as a relationship between an employee of an organisation (a career coach) and a student (a client) that has a strong underlying mentoring aspect. Ethnicity and the combination of gender and ethnicity are found to mediate and moderate students’ career decision self-efficacy, vocational outcome expectations and their employability efforts. The study also finds evidence of students’ perception of ethnic discrimination. The study explores environmental conditions and barriers that affect students’ career decision self-efficacy, vocational outcome expectations and their employability efforts.

It is argued that currently post-1992 universities act as corporate entities and training wings of corporations. As universities are trying to rethink their role and their employability strategies they can either choose to empower their learners or they can continue with the prevailing instrumentalism and preoccupation with planning for skills gaps and graduate jobs. Coaching, as part of a universities’ employability strategy, might be a way to address students’ lack of social capital and their lack of role models. Coaching interventions can have a positive impact on students’ career-related behaviours as they can address incorrect self-efficacy or outcome expectancy beliefs, reduce students’ perceived barriers to chosen careers, provide action plans to overcome these barriers, and help students to develop new experiences and to reframe their past experiences. Students from ethnic backgrounds benefit from examining their family expectations, their beliefs about themselves and from understanding the expectations and pressures from their families and communities. It is important to develop career services that are culturally sensitive and that are able to reach out to ethnic minority students.

The study contributes to coaching effectiveness research by using a quasi-experimental control-group as part of the longitudinal study design that is exploring the effectiveness of the coaching intervention. Measuring coaching effectiveness is an elusive concept in the coaching literature. Adopting a mixed method research design allows the researcher to understand the phenomenon in more depth and results in reaching conclusions that would be inaccessible should only one research approach be used.

The research also contributes to the employability literature by proposing an employability framework for post-1992 universities that incorporates self-efficacy, gender, ethnicity, perceived social support, socioeconomic status, cultural influences and gender role models, and vocational outcome expectations. The study also provides validated employability efforts outcomes measures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Employability; higher education students; career coaching; career self-efficacy; coaching effectiveness;
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Accounting & Finance
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 11:48
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24522

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