DOI: 10.5176/2251-2349_HRM&PD17.13

Authors: David E Gray, Mark Saunders

Abstract: Liminality is a sense of instability, ambiguity and suspended identity that can occur in the transition from one significant role to another. It is a feeling of being ‘betwixt and between’. In the contemporary world of boundaryless careers, many managers face transitional processes as they move roles, occupations, organizations or even sectors and hence may endure liminality. They can be helped here by coaches, but as the article suggests, many coaches may themselves be liminal, transitioning into coaching from a variety of other occupations. Coaches, however, can be helped through the process of supervision. Yet here, again, supervision is itself an emerging occupation, many supervisors being new to the role and possibly experiencing liminality. The implications of liminal managers being coached by liminal coaches being supervised by liminal supervisors is discussed.

Keywords: liminality; coaching; career transitions; boundaryless careers


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