Career derailment: burnout and bullying at the executive level

McCormack, Lynne, Abou-Hamdan, Sleiman and Joseph, Stephen (2017) Career derailment: burnout and bullying at the executive level. International Coaching Psychology Review, 12 (1). ISSN 1750-2764

Full text not available from this repository.


Executive derailment refers to unexpected and unwanted changes in the trajectory of an executive career caused either by factors within the person or by organisational factors external to the person, or a combination of both, leading to loss of identity. This phenomenological study explored subjective experiences of four high functioning professionals who had experienced executive derailment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results showed four superordinate themes that encapsulated a trajectory from severe loss of identity, integrity, and livelihood, to newly defined authenticity following derailment: (1) Self-doubt and blame; (2) targeted bullying; (3) psychological vulnerability and distress; and (4) Meaning-making and personal growth. The first three themes highlight varying levels of psychological distress and burnout and the vicarious impact on family life. The fourth theme involved a redefined self-integrity where forgiveness and psychological recovery could emerge and allow for a reconsideration of career pathways. The recognition that personal and professional growth can arise following executive derailment is a novel finding with important implications for coaches. A positive psychological and growth-oriented mindset may be helpful in harnessing change with executives following derailment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-publication version of the following article: Career derailment: Burnout and bullying at the executive level Lynne McCormack, Sleiman Abou-Hamdan & Stephen Joseph. International Coaching Psychology Review. Vol 12, No 1 March 2017.
Keywords: Derailment, burnout, bullying, psychological distress, growth
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 15:07
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:32

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View