Coaching and Mentoring

Submitting Institution

York St John University

Unit of Assessment

Business and Management Studies

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Specialist Studies In Education

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Summary of the impact

The impact of Professor Garvey's work in coaching and mentoring is extensive and far reaching nationally and internationally in terms of influencing practice across many sectors of society. It has impacted on, for example, the NHS, education in schools, professional bodies, and private and public sector organisations. In particular, his research and publications have influenced the ways in which coaching and mentoring are defined and the content of coach/mentor education and training in a range of educational settings.

Underpinning research

2.1 Garvey & Alred's (2000) survey research within 102 HEIs led to the development of the term `mentoring way'. This was later developed in the research based book by Garvey, Stokes and Megginson, (2009) to become `coaching and mentoring way'. These terms describe an innovative way of managing and working with people. This concept has influenced teaching and learning and developmental methodology for mentors and coaches by describing an inquiry-led approach to learning based on relevant questions related to the learner's context. At the time, Garvey was a lecturer in Performance Management and Alred was a Lecturer in Counselling Studies both at the University of Durham. In 2009, Garvey was Professor of Coaching and Mentoring, Stokes a Principal Lecturer and Megginson a Professor of HRD all at Sheffield Business School.

2.2 Garvey and Alred (2008) continued their research into mentor development and education within a Government Agency (confidentiality protected) which at the time employed 4000 people. This was in-depth interview research of 30 hours per person with a sample of 20 people.

2.3 Garvey and Westlander (2012) (Garvey, Professor of Business Education at York St John Business School and Westlander a former Professor of Psychology at the University of Stockholm) conducted a meta-review of over 100 published peer reviewed articles and book chapters from the UK, the US and Sweden. The literature covered mentor training and mentor scheme evaluation as well as educational and Learning and Development theories related to Knowles' concept of andragogy. This meta study led to a recommended framework for the education of mentors.

2.4 Garvey, B. (2012) Mentoring for Leadership Development: A case study of executive mentoring during the banking crisis (The International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching, X (1):56-76) was a piece of evaluative research of the executive mentoring scheme in the former bank, HBOS. The study was conducted over a period of 18 months among 11 Board-level mentors and 13 executive mentees who had a mentoring relationship during the banking crisis of 2008/9. The study employed two `before and after' questionnaires as well as in-depth interviews with the participants and key sponsor of the scheme. This research provides a perspective on the societal and social impact of mentoring and shows that complex social situations greatly influence the nature and form of mentoring relationships. It highlights the need for both mentor and mentee training and notes the need for a flexible operational model of mentoring in organisations.

2.5 Garvey's (2009, 2011a, 2011b) on-going historical literature research is tracking the historical discourses of both mentoring and coaching. This offers a critical perspective on the complex issues in the definition of the practice of mentoring and coaching and brings the two terms closer together in meaning than has previously been presented in the literature.

References to the research

Garvey, B., & Alred. G. (2000) Educating Mentors, Mentoring and Tutoring, 8(2): 113-126. This was research funded by the HRD Research Unit at Durham Business School where Garvey was Director until 1999.


Garvey, B. & Alred, G. (2008) Readiness to Mentor, The International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching, vi (2) EMCC This was research funded by a Government Agency to the value of £35K in 1998. The journal is the online journal of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. The EMCC has affiliated membership from 19 different European countries and individual membership from 48 others. It has a total membership of more than 5,000 people.

Garvey, B. Stokes, P. and Megginson, D. (2009) Coaching and Mentoring: Theory and Practice, London: Sage

Garvey, B. (2011a) A Very Short, Slightly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Coaching and Mentoring. London: Sage. This is part of a series of critical texts whose authors are chosen by invitation by the publishers on the basis of their reputation in the field.


Garvey, B. (2011b) Researching Coaching: An eclectic mix or common ground? A critical perspective. In: Wegener, Robert, Fritze, Agnès & Loebbert, Michael (Hrsg.) (2011) Coaching entwickeln. Forschung und Praxis im Dialog. Wiesbaden: VS Research. This book is a collection of papers from an international peer reviewed conference held at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwest Switzerland FHNW. This paper was an invited keynote.


Garvey, R. and Westlander, G. (2012) Training mentors — behaviors which bring positive outcomes in mentoring, in Passmore, J., Peterson, D.B. and Freire, T. (eds), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Coaching and Mentoring. Chichester: John Wiley: pp.243-265.


Details of the impact

4.1 Coaching and mentoring are of widespread interest across the world in a wide range of different types of organisations. In 2006, Fillery-Travis & Lane stated that coaching was a $2billion market globally. Clearly this has increased since then as, each year, the cipd's surveys of Learning and Development activity among UK organisations indicate an average of 70% of all UK businesses using coaching in one form or another and the recent (2013) Barometer Report highlights coaching as a key activity in management development, talent management and performance improvement.

4.2 Mentoring activity is also widespread and found in most business sectors (Alred & Garvey 2010). The 2010 BIS analysis of the Small Business Survey showed that 51% of SMEs who used mentors either expected to attain, or had actually attained growth in their business. This compares with 32% expecting or attaining growth in their business without mentoring support.

4.3 Garvey is one of the few established researchers and commentators on mentoring and coaching. The impact of his research is widespread and is found in a variety of national and international settings. For example, his research based practitioner book on mentoring, The Mentoring Pocket Book, has total sales of 80,000 copies (Publisher data). First published in 1998, it is now in its 3rd edition and has been reprinted four times since 2010. Copies have been, and are being, purchased by many organisations, including Lloyds Banking Group, the NHS, the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, Stantec, Novachem and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) in Canada.

4.4 Since 2011 Garvey's notion of the `coaching and mentoring way' has been employed as the basis for leadership development within APEGA . This professional body has 66,000 members. Garvey has delivered six keynotes and six workshops for APEGA with an approximate total of 900 people participating. This has resulted in a further series of workshops with APEGA during 2013 and additional mentoring scheme design and development work with the Chemical Company Novachem.

4.5 Garvey's research has impacted on the education and training of coach/mentors. For example, training design for 105 staff to date at Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting in four different countries — the USA, Singapore, Australia and the UK. His research is also the basis of the on-going online support for teachers implementing the Diploma for 14-19 year olds in UK schools.

4.6 Garvey has developed a very deliberate dissemination strategy whereby he has positioned himself to be regularly invited to provide keynote lectures at professional conferences. During 2012/13 Garvey presented to over 400 business people in Khartoum, Sudan, via the delivery of a British Council Management Lecture titled `Whose Performance is it?' This lecture drew on his research published in Garvey, B. (2011a) A Very Short, Slightly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Coaching and Mentoring. London: Sage. This lecture was followed by two business workshops for a total of 30 CEOs of Sudanese businesses. He also gave the keynote and provided a workshop at the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Conference in Lithuania for over 100 coaching professionals and provided a master-class on `Line managers as coaches' for the Latvian ICF with 80 people attending. Prior to this he delivered a coaching workshop for 80 managers in the Latvian Ministry of Finance.

4.7 Coaching and mentoring professional bodies have been debating definitional statements for coaching and mentoring for many years. Garvey's research has had a significant impact on their deliberations, which makes him among the first to have established a new and critical approach to defining coaching and mentoring through discourse analysis. This work is distributed through European Mentoring and Coaching Council Networks (EMCC) and published in four different publications which appeal to different sectors as follows:

  • Garvey, B. Stokes, P. and Megginson, D. (2009) Coaching and Mentoring: Theory and Practice, London: Sage
  • Garvey, B. (2010) Mentoring in a Coaching World, In The Sage Handbook of Coaching, ed by Elaine Cox, Tatiana Bachkirova, David Clutterbuck, Sage Publishing, UK
  • Garvey, B. (2011a) A Very Short, Slightly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Coaching and Mentoring. London: Sage
  • Garvey, B. (2011b) Researching Coaching: An eclectic mix or common ground? A critical perspective. In: Wegener, Robert, Fritze, Agnès & Loebbert, Michael (Hrsg.) (2011) Coaching entwickeln. Forschung und Praxis im Dialog. Wiesbaden: VS Research.

4.8 Garvey is regularly featured in the press and called upon as an `expert' to comment on issues relating to coaching and mentoring in the media. He regularly contributes to the Professional Journal Coaching at Work where he provides critical commentary on coaching and mentoring practice.

Sources to corroborate the impact

ICF Latvia

Use of `Mentoring Way' in training materials rainingSession7.pdf

Diploma Support

Use of Publication in Training Material cof=FORID:10&ie=UFT-8i&sa=Search&as_q=Bob+Garvey#1001

Lithuania Conference

APEGA, Canada (Hardcopy)
PEG (Dec 2012) `Giving and Receiving', The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta pp.42-44