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Coaching Research Paper of the Year

19 XOP 070 Web Hero Coaching mtime20190605145436


This award is for a coaching research paper published in the previous calendar year that, in the view of the Henley Coaching team, has made a significant and positive contribution to the field.

To nominate a paper please email or post items to:
The Director of The Henley Centre for Coaching, Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3AU.

<>2019 Winners

Assessing contracting and the coaching relationship: Necessary infrastructure?
Hilary Gettman, Suzanne K. Edinger & Karen Wouters


While the criticality of a strong coach-client relationship has received significant attention, this study represents one of the few investigations of coach behaviours that impact the relationship. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, we explore "contracting", defined as the collaborative determination of logistics, parameters and framework of the coaching engagement, as an important foundation for an effective relationship. We create a preliminary measure, the Contracting Inventory Scale, and investigate contracting’s connection to the coach-client relationship. Additionally, we explore executives’ perspectives on contracting as "infrastructure", a behavior that is necessary, but itself not leading to great outcomes, and discuss implications, noting that this study provides a platform for future empirical work and useful information for coaching practice.


executive coaching, leadership development, coach behaviour, contracting, coaching relationship

Read the rest of the research paper here

<>2018 Winners


A systematic review of executive coaching outcomes
Andromachi Athanasopoulou and Sue Dopson

In this article, we focus on a specific type of personal and professional development practice - executive coaching - and present the most extensive systematic review of executive coaching outcome studies published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals to date. We focus only on coaching provided by external coaches to organizational members. Our purpose is twofold: First, to present and evaluate how executive coaching outcome studies are designed and researched (particularly regarding methodological rigor and context-sensitivity). Secondly, to provide a comprehensive review of what we know about executive coaching outcomes, what are the contextual drivers that affect coaching interventions and what the current gaps in our understanding of coaching practice. On that basis, we discuss and provide a research agenda that might significantly shift the field. We argue that methodological rigor is as important as context-sensitivity in the design of executive coaching outcome studies. We conclude with a discussion of implications for practice.

KEYWORDS: executive coaching, systematic review, social context, research designs

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<>2017 Winners

Evaluating coaching’s effect: competencies, career mobility and retention
Jessica M Reyes Liske and Courtney L Holladay

– Leadership coaching has become an increasingly common method to maximize competency development and behaviors for organizational leaders as well as to improve retention and career mobility. Few empirical studies have tested its capacity to generate such outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a coaching program within a healthcare organization, showing significant impact to the leaders’ behaviors and retention, measured through non-self-report data.
Design/methodology/approach – In the present study, the behaviors associated with leadership competencies were evaluated using a quasi-experimental design to determine if significant gains have been achieved following a coaching intervention when compared to prior competency ratings. Retention and career movement of participating leaders were tracked to compare rates against a control group.
Findings – In the present study, leadership coaching was evaluated. Results indicate that individuals who participated in the program, in comparison with those that did not, showed significantly improved leadership competencies and significantly higher retention rates one year post-program. Implications for leadership development programs are discussed.
Research limitations/implications – One possible limitation of this study is the program structure in the experimental condition received both individual and group coaching so the competency improvement cannot be parsed out to one type of coaching vs another. The authors suggest that this limitation is an opportunity for future research to explore differing effects by coaching type.
Originality/value – This study provides the healthcare organization with unique quantitative data regarding the positive implications of a leadership program that has not been reported previously. The findings will provide further justification to support leadership coaching programs.

Keywords: Evaluation, Competencies, 360 assessment, Leadership coaching

Paper type: Research paper

Read the rest of the research paper here

Published 10 July 2019