Executive Coaching Research

Executive Coaching Research shows executive coaching improves personal and organisational performance at executive level.

A lot of the research is anecdotal, or based on case studies. There are very few research projects which provide empirical evidence (involving control groups, boule blinds etc) that coaching as an intervention works because of the nature of coaching.

With its roots in psychotherapy as well as sports science one can utilise the wider range of research which is empirical in nature.

Executive Coaching Research & studies (click on the titles to see full papers);

1. Maximising the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioural Change, Organisational Outcomes, and Return on Investment

When calculated conservatively, ROI (for the 43 participants who estimated it) averaged nearly $100,000 or 5.7 times the initial investment in coaching. The authors feel confident that this level of value has been achieved and may, in fact, be understated. According to Phillips (1997), if a program is not generating at least 25 percent return on investment in its first year, it should be considered to be an undesirable investment.Viewed in this light, we can say with confidence that executive coaching is a very valuable investment.



2. Executive Coaching: It Works!

Outcomes of this empirical study demonstrated that executive coaching is an effective method of leadership development. One hundred fourteen executives and forty two coaches were surveyed using instruments designed to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicated that executive change occurred in five areas:

  1. people management,
  2. relationship with managers,
  3. goal setting and prioritisation,
  4. engagement and productivity, and
  5. dialogue and communication.


Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 2008, Vol. 60, No. 1, 78–90

3. Making The Case For Coaching – Does It Work?

Summary of the evidence contained within a presentation.


4. Does Executive Coaching Work?

The field of executive coaching has grown considerably in recent times. The empirical research conducted to explore the effectiveness of executive coaching, which has struggled to keep pace with developments in the field, suggests there are many personal and organisational benefits from engaging in an executive coaching relationship. However, the research studies provide an uncertain message about what makes an effective coaching relationship and how this might differ for all parties invested in the coaching journey – client, coach and organisational sponsor. This article provides a brief review of the field of executive coaching and summarises the active ingredients of effective executive coaching that have been identified in the empirical research to date.


The Psychologist, August 2014, Vol.27 (pp.582-587)

If you liked this you might like how to select a good Executive Coach, and 3 questions to ask when seeking a bespoke leadership development programme.

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