A systematic review

My first piece of ‘proper research’ is a systematic review of the literature about coaching supervision in organisations. The idea being to find out how much research has already been done and then determine commonalities and differences among the current research.

Decisions I’ve already made:

    1. Only research published in English. It’s the only language I stand a chance of understanding and, having read just a few academic papers, I’m not sure of that now….
    2. Peer reviewed journals and dissertations
    3. Primary research

Just navigating around databases can be a challenge. I have learned all about Boolean searching and PsycINFO and Business Source Complete tend to work in similar ways. Unfortunately the site of the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring wasn’t quite so straight forward, as the results figure is preceded by ‘about….’ and rarely replicates.

This made my searches longer, but meant that I could keep checking that the same relevant papers appeared on each search.

Then came my first challenge, related to my subject of coaching supervision – what does supervision mean? Amongst the research, there is ‘supervision of practice’, normally relating to therapeutic practice; supervision of coaching programmes; supervision of staff who conduct some style of coaching and coaching supervision as I know it.

That makes filtering papers by reading abstracts a little more difficult and I’ve chosen to download the full texts into PDFs. Then I’ll search them further, to ascertain the context of the supervision and also check that the papers are primary research.

If anyone has experience of a better way to search for terms within papers, please let me know. I am more than willing to learn.

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