The effectiveness of workplace coaching
: A meta-analysis of learning and performance outcomes; scale development; theoretical model of individual differences and longitudinal study

  • Rebecca Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The extant literature on workplace coaching is characterised by a lack of theoretical and empirical understanding regarding the effectiveness of coaching as a learning and development tool; the types of outcomes one can expect from coaching; the tools that can be used to measure coaching outcomes; the underlying processes that explain why and how coaching works and the factors that may impact on coaching effectiveness. This thesis sought to address these substantial gaps in the literature with three linked studies. Firstly, a meta-analysis of workplace coaching effectiveness (k = 17), synthesizing the existing research was presented. A framework of coaching outcomes was developed and utilised to code the studies. Analysis indicated that coaching had positive effects on all outcomes. Next, the framework of outcomes was utilised as the deductive start-point to the development of the scale measuring perceived coaching effectiveness. Utilising a multi-stage approach (n = 201), the analysis indicated that perceived coaching effectiveness may be organised into a six factor structure: career clarity; team performance; work well-being; performance; planning and organizing and personal effectiveness and adaptability. The final study was a longitudinal field experiment to test a theoretical model of individual differences and coaching effectiveness developed in this thesis. An organizational sample of 84 employees each participated in a coaching intervention, completed self-report surveys, and had their job performance rated by peers, direct reports and supervisors (a total of 352 employees provided data on participant performance). The results demonstrate that compared to a control group, the coaching intervention generated a number of positive outcomes. The analysis indicated that coachees’ enthusiasm, intellect and orderliness influenced the impact of coaching on outcomes. Mediation analysis suggested that mastery goal orientation, performance goal orientation and approach motivation in the form of behavioural activation system (BAS) drive, were significant mediators between personality and outcomes. Overall, the findings of this thesis make an original contribution to the understanding of the types of outcomes that can be expected from coaching, and the magnitude of impact coaching has on outcomes. The thesis also provides a tool for reliably measuring coaching effectiveness and a theoretical model to understand the influence of coachee individual differences on coaching outcomes.
Date of Award19 Feb 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorStephen A Woods (Supervisor)


  • coaching;
  • coaching effectiveness
  • coaching outcomes
  • learning & performance

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