by Dr. Raija Salomaa (Finland)

In the globalised economy, leaders who are able to cope with the multiplicity of tasks and challenges presented by international business environments are valued assets for their organisations. The need for internationally competent managers is escalating (Caliguiri & Tarique, 2012) and it has been argued that organisations must provide a range of development activities, including career-related support practices, in order to be able to develop global leaders. Further, it has been suggested that rather than withdrawing from active career management, organisations should instead become involved in a different way, by practising supportive and developmental career management activities such as coaching (Segers & Inceoglu 2012). My own study (Salomaa, 2017; Salomaa & Mäkelä, 2017) suggests that we, as coaches, can support the success of organisations and individuals in the demanding global environment by enhancing career capital development of our clients through coaching. In this article, I explain the concept of career capital, give a brief overview of my research findings on how coaching enhances career capital, and discuss how a career capital framework can be practically utilised in coaching assignments.

Career capital (Inkson & Arthur, 2001) is a concept covering a broad set of competencies that employees need in order to be successful in their employment paths (Suutari, Brewster & Tornikoski, 2013). The framework consists of three interconnected elements:  ‘knowing-how’ (e.g., technical skills), ‘knowing-whom’ (e.g., social networks), and ‘knowing-why’ (e.g., motivation). While the rapid change in the global business environment has accelerated the use of coaching, coaching research in the international context lags behind practice, and coaching has been addressed infrequently in the career development literature in general (Ciutiene, Neverauskas & Meilene, 2010). There was no previous research on whether and how coaching enhances the development of career capital, either in the domestic or the international context.  It was clear that more empirical research was needed about the use of coaching as a potential tool for the career capital development of expatriates, employees who work abroad. Therefore, as part of my article-based PhD thesis,

Source: iCN Issue 25  (Career Coaching); pages 28-31


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About Dr. Raija Salomaa

Raija has deep experience of coaching across a variety of industries and countries. She has worked as an Executive Coach since 2005 and combines her coaching experience with over 20 years of professional experience in executive positions within international travel trade industry. She holds a PCC of ICF and has been accredited by the European School of Administration to coach managers of the European Institutions. Raija works as an executive coach, coaching skills trainer, mentor and supervisor for coaches. Raija guest lectures on coaching and leadership in several institutions of higher education. She has completed a PhD on coaching and is a published author.

Link to the public defense of Raija Salomaa at the University of Vaasa in May 2017