Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Multiple understandings of executive coaching : an exploratory study of Irish experiences
Author: Wilcox, M.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This research study explores executives’ perceptions of factors that impede and facilitate the effectiveness of a coaching intervention designed to enhance leadership skills. It also explores research participants’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the intervention. Because research studies have rarely given prominence to the voice of the executive (Kilburg, 2004, Lowman, 2005, Turner, 2006; Styhre, 2008), this aspect of coaching is still largely unexplored, thus the purpose of the research is to bring the voice of the executives to the fore via an instrumental case study whose focus is the experiences of the executives. A large indigenous Irish company facilitated the research, which took place in Dublin. The research design is a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a cohort of four executives who had engaged in a pilot coaching programme, with the HR Director who initiated the coaching intervention, with the Coach, and with the Divisional CEO whose budget paid for the coaching. The executives’ stories are told via a ‘montage’ of rich descriptions of their views on the organisation, their leader, and their coaching experiences. The views of the other players, (HR Director, Coach and CEO) are presented independently. A review of current literature on executive coaching discusses recent research studies and notes the dominance of North American research and the dearth of studies that address executives’ perspectives. The literature reviews salient inputs to the coaching process: the role of the organisation, the skill sets of the coach, and the readiness of executives to be coached. The research found that coaching yielded a number of positive outcomes for all executives, although perceptions of gains varied across all research participants; the most significant evaluation discrepancy was between the HR Director and the CEO. While the Coach had many strengths, which were acknowledged by all executives, his description of his ‘structured’ approach was at variance with that experienced by the executives, some of whom were frustrated by lack of continuity and by his failure to measure progress. The CEO, who had also taken part in the coaching programme, was particularly frustrated by what he saw as the lack of engagement by the Coach. Neither the executives nor the CEO challenged the Coach to change his approach. A key finding was that neither the Coach nor the Organisation (as represented by the HR Director and the CEO) managed the process to produce a satisfactory results oriented experience for all the executives. The findings from this research study inform a conceptual framework that highlights the facilitators and inhibitors of executive coaching as articulated by the stakeholders to the coaching programme. The findings have practical implications for coaches, HR professionals and executives on how to behave in a coaching situation and the study adds to the body of knowledge on what facilitates and hinders the success of executive coaching and the factors that influence executives’ evaluation of the coaching process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available