Today I’m launching a major new project on this blog – a research study on Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries – and I’m inviting contributions from managers, employees and educators in the UK creative industries, in the form of responses to my questionnaires and a limited number of individual interviews. But before I get into that, I’ll give you some background to the research…
Why am I doing this?
- It’s the final assignment for my part-time MA in Creative and Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick. Given the choice between a purely theoretical paper or a practically-oriented research project, I opted for the latter as I’m only really interested in theories with a real-world application.
- To deepen my understanding of the issues confronting the sector I consult in – the UK Creative Industries. I have my own views on these issues, and the relevance of coaching, from my work with clients and my studies, but I want to open up the debate and canvass the views of a wide spectrum of managers and employees in different industries. This will help me develop my own services better to meet the requirements of the creative businesses I work with.
- To contribute to the current debate about management in the Creative Industries. As the Creative Industries develop and become more and more significant players in the UK economy (and elsewhere), there is an intensifying debate about best practices for managers this sector. I want this project to contribute to this debate by listening to the views of managers, employees and educators, and sharing my findings. So once I’ve digested the input from my questionnaires and interviews, the finished report will be available for free download from this blog.
So what’s the basic idea?
This is my research hypothesis:
‘Coaching offers a model for managing and developing employees that is well-suited to the needs of companies in the UK creative industries, yet this approach is currently under-utilised by many creative businesses, with the result that they are missing opportunities to develop and capitalise on their workersâ€™ talents.’
This is my own perception of the situation, based on my practical experience as a business coach, and on my study of the academic literature and trade press. And I’ve got my own opinion on the reasons for this state of affairs – but this study is designed to encourage others to come forward with their views, so I’ll hold my peace on that for the moment.
I’d like to highlight the word ‘perceptions‘ in the project title. My experience is that coaching, management and creativity are all disciplines in which subjective impressions are at least as important as objective ‘facts’, so I’m really interested in how people perceive coaching and people management issues within these industries. I will be particularly interested in differences in perception that arise from the different groups of people I will be hearing from – and what we can learn from them.
How will the research project work?
I’ll be using three types of data for the project:
- Questionnaires to be completed by managers and employees in the UK Creative Industries – I’ll make these available on the blog very shortly
- Interviews with selected managers and educators working in this sector
- Academic literature and trade publications
My deadline for handing in the written report is the end of September. I should receive it back from the examiners in early December, after which I’ll make it available for free download as a PDF from this blog.
How can I contribute?
- If you are a manager or employee in the UK Creative Industries – you are invited to complete a research questionnaire, available on the blog today or tomorrow – watch this space. You will have the option of responding anonymously or receiving a credit, whichever you prefer.
- If you are a manager or educator working in this sector and might be interested in giving an interview, please send me an e-mail.
And where does the blog fit in?
I’ll be using the blog as a research tool:
- To invite contributions
- To provide updates on my progress – December’s a long time to wait for the finished report, so I’ll be reporting periodically on how things are going, and any findings that are easily presentable in the blog format.
- To publish the final report.
- To spark some debate along the way!
Thanks for reading this far – I hope you’ll get involved in the project. Please ask me if you have any questions.