Conceptualizing the distinctiveness of Team Coaching

Rebecca Jones, Uwe Napiersky, Joanne Lyubovnikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Team coaching (TC) is a popular new addition to the team learning and development toolkit. However, the conceptualization of TC and the distinction between TC, team training, team development and team building interventions remains unclear. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: The authors address this significant gap by abductively exploring how TC is conceptualised in practice (n=410). The authors survey practitioners engaged in delivering TC to ask how they would define TC and distinguish it from other team interventions. Findings: A thematic analysis of the data reveals eight themes, which can be used to define TC and illustrate areas of overlap and distinctiveness with other team interventions. Research limitations/implications: The absence of a clearly defined construct is hindering the development of a rigorous theory of TC. The contribution of the paper is, therefore, a clear and comprehensive definition of TC, which can be used by researchers and practitioners alike when working within the domain of TC. Originality/value: The paper provides the first systematic exploration of a definition of TC in relation to alternative team interventions. By utilising an abductive approach in the research, the authors are able to capitalise on practitioner experience in this practice-led field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-78
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

© Emerald Publishing Limited 2019
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited
Licensed re-use rights only


  • Coaching
  • Teams
  • Training


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