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EXECUTIVE COACHING:

Investigating effects of Leader-empowering Behaviours



and Psychological Empowerment






















David Allan




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EXECUTIVE COACHING:

Investigating effects of Leader-empowering Behaviours

and Psychological Empowerment













David John Allan





A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of

Master of Business (Research)


School of Management, Faculty of Business

Queensland University of Technology







January, 2011

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Statement of original authorship



The work contained in this thesis has not been previously submitted to meet
requirements for an award at this, or any other higher education institution. To
the best of my knowledge and belief, this thesis contains no material previously
published or written by another person, except where due reference is made.




_______________________________________

David John Allan


Date: 6th of January, 2011





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Abstract
Executive coaching is a rapidly expanding approach to leadership
development which has grown at a rate that warrants extensive examination of its
effects (Wasylyshyn, 2003). This thesis has therefore examined both behavioural
and psychological effects based on a nine month executive coaching intervention
within a large not-for-profit organisation. The intervention was a part of a larger
ongoing integrated organisational strategy to create an organisational coaching
culture. In order to examine the effectiveness of the nine month executive coaching
intervention two studies were conducted. A quantitative study used a pre and post
questionnaire to examine leaders and their team members responses before and after
the coaching intervention. The research examined leader-empowering behaviours,
psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment. Significant
results were demonstrated from leaders self-reports on leader-empowering
behaviours and their team members self-reports revealed a significant flow on effect
of psychological empowerment. The second part of the investigation involved a
qualitative study which explored the developmental nature of psychological
empowerment through executive coaching. The examination dissected
psychological empowerment into its widely accepted four facets of meaning, impact,
competency and self-determination and investigated, through semi-structured
interviews, leaders perspectives of the effect of executive coaching upon them
(Spreitzer, 1992). It was discovered that a number of the common practices within
executive coaching, including goal-setting, accountability and action-reflection,
contributed to the production of outcomes that developed higher levels of
psychological empowerment. Careful attention was also given to organisational
context and its influence upon the outcomes.
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Key Words



Executive coaching, psychological empowerment, leader-empowering behaviours,
job satisfaction, organisational commitment, affective commitment, coaching
process, coaching relationship, leadership development, team members, context,
flow on effect, organisational integration, coaching culture.




























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Acknowledgements

The development of a thesis is not a solo effort; therefore there are many individuals
whom I would like to thank for having contributed in supporting me emotionally and
practically throughout its production. I didnt realise how difficult a task it would be
when I started this journey, but now that it is completed, the sense of relief and
accomplishment have eclipsed the angst that has been endured. I know that I would
not have made it without the support of those around me.

I start by thanking one of my friends and coaching colleagues Graham, who through
his discussions and desire for continuous improvement unknowingly encouraged me
to embark on this journey of study.

I cannot thank my supervisors enough for their support and direction for I know that
without them this thesis would not have materialised. I would like to thank Dr Claire
Mason for helping me in the beginning phases to discover key themes of focus that I
was passionate about. I appreciate Dr Fran Finn for her input through her research
expertise in the field of executive coaching, along with her insightful suggestions for
the qualitative study, which contributed significant depth to this thesis. I am also
indebted to Assoc. Prof. Lisa Bradley for her continued oversight, encouragement,
patience and flexibility in supporting me through the completion of this thesis.
Along with my supervisors, I would also like to thank Dr Stephen Cox for assisting
me in better navigating the journey of data analysis.

To the organisation which decided to implement executive coaching throughout their
leadership and allowed me the permission and freedom to research this endeavour, I
give you my heart-felt appreciation for the privilege. I thank all the leaders for
completing questionnaires and for taking time to be interviewed, in spite of your
busy schedules.

To the coaching organisation, especially the individual efforts of Gary and Colin,
who arranged the point of contact and brokered the initial relationship between
myself and the organisation, I thank you for your desire to want to empirically
investigate the effects of executive coaching. I also thank all the individual coaches
involved in this study for your willingness to be participants and grow.

Finally, appreciation must go to my wonderful family, who have supported me in
this endeavour in spite of the many late nights and absent week-ends. To my biggest
supporter in life itself, Paula my wife: you always believe in me and have sacrificed
many things to support me in this venture - thanks for everything. To my three
wonderful children Rachel, Cherie and Daniel: thanks for being so patient and
understanding. It has been tough, and you three have had to endure my absence on
many occasions throughout this study. I am so blessed to have you all in my life,
and to have your concerted support.


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Table of Contents
Statement of original authorship ............................................................................... ii
Abstract .................................................................................................................... iii
Key Words ............................................................................................................... iv
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................... v
Table of Contents .................................................................................................... vii
List of Figures .......................................................................................................... xi
List of Tables........................................................................................................... xii
Chapter 1 - Introduction ............................................................................................ 1
Importance of this research ....................................................................................... 1
Research problem ...................................................................................................... 4
Research questions .................................................................................................... 5
Methodology ............................................................................................................. 6
Structure of thesis ...................................................................................................... 8
Conclusion ................................................................................................................ 9
Chapter 2 - Literature review .................................................................................. 11
Introduction ............................................................................................................. 11
Executive coaching ................................................................................................. 11
Executive coaching industry ............................................................................... 11
Defining executive coaching ............................................................................... 13
The executive coaching process .......................................................................... 21
Quality of the executive coaching relationship ................................................... 27
Executive coaching and psychological affects ........................................................ 30
Psychological empowerment .................................................................................. 31
Importance of empowerment .............................................................................. 31
Empowerment defined ........................................................................................ 33
Antecedents of psychological empowerment...................................................... 36
Job satisfaction ........................................................................................................ 39
Importance of job satisfaction ............................................................................. 39
Job satisfaction defined ....................................................................................... 40
Relationship between executive coaching and job satisfaction .......................... 41
Job satisfaction and psychological empowerment .............................................. 43
Affective commitment ............................................................................................ 45
Importance of affective commitment .................................................................. 45
Affective commitment defined ........................................................................... 47
Relationship between executive coaching and affective commitment ............... 49
Affective commitment and empowerment .......................................................... 52
Executive coaching and behaviour change ............................................................. 53
Leadership behaviour change and staff psychological empowerment ................ 62
Measurement for leadership empowerment behaviours ..................................... 65
Executive coaching and empowerment behaviours ............................................ 67
Executive coaching and a flow on effect ................................................................ 70
Hypotheses .............................................................................................................. 72
Research model ....................................................................................................... 73
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Chapter 3 - Method ................................................................................................... 75
Research approach ................................................................................................... 75
Study one background to the coaching contract ................................................... 77
Structure of nine month coaching program ......................................................... 79
Sample groups for quantitative study ...................................................................... 82
Sample group one ................................................................................................ 82
Sample group two ................................................................................................ 82
Procedure ............................................................................................................. 84
Instruments used in study one ................................................................................. 86
Overview of measures ......................................................................................... 86
Demographic measures ....................................................................................... 86
Leader and coachee psychological empowerment .............................................. 87
Job satisfaction .................................................................................................... 87
Affective commitment ......................................................................................... 88
Leader-empowering behaviours .......................................................................... 89
Quality of executive coaching process ................................................................ 90
Quality of the executive coaching relationship ................................................... 92
Study two qualitative ............................................................................................ 94
Introduction to qualitative method ...................................................................... 94
Sample group for qualitative study ..................................................................... 95
Instrument used in study two .............................................................................. 95
Procedure and context ......................................................................................... 96
Reliability and validity ........................................................................................ 98
Data analysis ....................................................................................................... 99
Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 100
Chapter 4 Data analysis ....................................................................................... 101
Introduction ........................................................................................................... 101
Reliability analysis and bi-variate correlation test ............................................ 101
Hypothesis testing ................................................................................................. 103
Hypothesis testing (H1) the psychological affects of executive coaching ..... 103
Hypothesis testing (H2) leader-empowering behaviours and their effect ...... 104
Hypothesis testing (H3) team member rated leader-empowering behaviours 105
Hypothesis testing (H4) effects of increased psychological empowerment .. 105
Hypothesis testing (H5) flow on effect from executive coaching .................. 106
Executive coaching variable that may influence psychological flow on effect 107
Executive coaching process and executive coaching relationship .................... 108
Summary of quantitative analysis ..................................................................... 109
Qualitative data analysis ........................................................................................ 109
Leaders expressed perceived benefits from executive coaching ......................... 110
Specific goal-setting .......................................................................................... 110
Psychological empowerment and goal-setting .................................................. 111
Team member consideration ............................................................................. 112
Psychological empowerment and team member consideration ........................ 113
Use of more questions ....................................................................................... 114
Psychological empowerment and the use of questions ..................................... 114
Clarifying of thoughts ....................................................................................... 115
Psychological empowerment and clarifying of thoughts .................................. 116
Personal accountability ..................................................................................... 116
Psychological empowerment and personal accountability ................................ 117
Clear reproducible coaching process ................................................................. 118
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Psychological empowerment and a clear reproducible coaching process ........ 119
Conclusion on the broad benefits of executive coaching .................................. 120
Examining the four facets of empowerment through executive coaching ............ 121
The facet of meaning from executive coaching .................................................... 122
Increased meaning through congruence of work values with work activities .. 123
Increased meaning through an ongoing sense of progress ................................ 123
Increased meaning as a result of a more positive emotional state .................... 124
The facet of impact from executive coaching ....................................................... 125
Increased impact through an improved focus on team member development .. 126
Increased impact through personal rejuvenation............................................... 127
Increased impact through using a structured approach ..................................... 127
The facet of self-determination from executive coaching..................................... 129
Increased self-determination through a focus on team member development .. 130
Increased self-determination through using a coaching approach .................... 131
Increased self-determination through removing self-imposed restrictions ....... 132
Increased self-determination through setting clear priorities ............................ 133
The facet of competency from executive coaching............................................... 135
Increased competency through having clear work priorities ............................ 135
Increased competency through using coaching techniques .............................. 137
Increased competency through using a coaching structure ............................... 138
Increased competency through using a coaching approach .............................. 139
Summary of qualitative analysis ........................................................................... 141
Chapter 5 Discussion ........................................................................................... 145
Introduction ........................................................................................................... 145
Research findings .................................................................................................. 146
Hypotheses ............................................................................................................ 149
Findings for hypothesis one and related elements in hypothesis five ................... 150
Relationship between executive coaching and psychological empowerment... 151
Variables affecting the relationship between coaching and empowerment ...... 152
How the focus in the coaching is achieved ....................................................... 152
Strong personal resonation with the organisations values and purpose .......... 154
The scope of change available for leaders ........................................................ 155
Conclusion of executive coaching and psychological empowerment............... 156
Executive coaching and affective commitment ................................................ 156
Affective commitment and contextual issues ................................................... 157
Affective commitment conclusion .................................................................... 159
Executive coaching and job satisfaction ........................................................... 161
Focussing on job satisfactions antecedents ...................................................... 161
Job satisfaction and a pre-existing condition .................................................... 162
Job satisfaction conclusion ................................................................................ 163
Conclusion of hypothesis one ........................................................................... 163
Findings for hypothesis two .................................................................................. 164
Executive coaching and self-rated leader-empowering behaviours .................. 164
Leader-empowering behaviours and psychological empowerment .................. 165
Conclusion of hypothesis two ........................................................................... 165
Findings for hypothesis three ................................................................................ 166
Team members perspectives on leader-empowering behaviours .................... 167
Executive coaching sessions completed and timeframe ................................... 167
Managing team members perceptions ............................................................. 168
High pre coaching team member assessment.................................................... 169
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Conclusions for hypothesis three ...................................................................... 169
Implications for executive coaching and behaviour change efforts .................. 170
Findings for hypothesis four ................................................................................. 171
Psychological empowerment and affective commitment results ...................... 172
Psychological empowerment and job satisfaction results ................................. 174
Conclusions for hypothesis four ........................................................................ 176
Findings for hypothesis five - flow on effect ........................................................ 177
The influence of supervisory authority over executive coaching outcomes ..... 178
Effects of leader-empowering behaviours on psychological empowerment .... 179
Conclusions of hypothesis five ......................................................................... 181
Alignment of executive coaching and the four facets of empowerment ............... 183
Theoretical contribution ........................................................................................ 185
Practical contributions ........................................................................................... 189
Limitations ............................................................................................................ 195
Further suggestions for future research ................................................................. 197
Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 199
References ............................................................................................................. 201
List of Appendices ................................................................................................ 207
































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List of Figures
Figure 2.1 - Research model examining the influence of executive
coaching upon behavioural and psychological measures .......................................... 74
Figure 5.1 Goal-setting leading to greater psychological empowerment ............. 191






































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List of Tables
Table 2.1 Alternative executive coaching processes from the literature .............. 22
Table 3.1 Nine-month coach / training program ..................................................... 81
Table 3.2 Formation process for sample group 2 .................................................... 84
Table 4.1 - Coached leaders and coachees (at time 2), correlations and alpha
coefficients for the major measures ......................................................................... 102
Table 4.2 - Coached leaders and their coachees - pre and post executive coaching
psychological measures - means, standard deviations and T-test statistics ............. 104
Table 4.3 - Team member pre and post psychological empowerment - means,
standard deviations and T-test statistics (subset of coachees, those being under
supervisory authority of their coach) ....................................................................... 108
Table 4.4 Descriptive statistics of leaders post executive coaching experience .. 108
Table 4.5 - List of executive coaching outcomes that lead to greater psychological
empowerment as divided into its four facets, from the analysis .............................. 143
Table 5.1- Outline of hypotheses ............................................................................. 150
Table 5.2 - Alignment of executive coaching outcomes & the four psychological
empowerment facets of competency, impact, self-determination and meaning ...... 184
Table 5.3 Proposed theory ..................................................................................... 188





















1

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Importance of this research
With an increasing amount of regularity, companies are choosing to use
executive coaching as a means of leadership development (Barner, 2006; Evers,
Brouwers, & Tomic, 2006; Natale & Diamante, 2005; Smither, London, Flautt,
Vargas, & Kucine, 2003). Significant continuing growth has been occurring in the
field of executive coaching over the past two decades with inconspicuous origins
occurring during the 1980s (Natale & Diamante, 2005). Garman et al. (2000)
conducted a literature review of 72 executive coaching articles appearing in
mainstream and trade magazines between 1991 to 1998 and found exponential
growth in the amount of attention given to executive coaching.
This phenomenon has continued at a similar rate as can be seen by the
increase in companies training new coaches, along with increased costs associated
with the practice within organisations (Hall, Otazo, & Hollenbeck, 1999; Pennington,
2009; Smither et al., 2003; Thach, 2002). Precise data has been difficult to attain on
the number of practicing executive coaches. However, Natale and Diamante (2005)
approximated in 2005 that there are over 10 000 executive coaches within the USA
alone. Recently through using a more precise methodology, Pennington (2009)
conducted one of the largest surveys on executive coaching worldwide stating that in
2009 there were an estimated 29 000 executive coaches globally in an industry worth
over two billion dollars. With this sort of exponential growth and the cost-impact
upon organisations utilising this leadership development strategy, it appears to be an
important area that merits further investigation.
Chapter One
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There is growing awareness that although there is anecdotal evidence
supporting the effectiveness of executive coaching, there is a need for more empirical
evidence to justify the rapid growth of this leadership development practice (Evers et
al., 2006; Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001; Smither et al., 2003; Thach, 2002;
Wasylyshyn, 2003). Due to the limited amount of empirical research conducted on
the effectiveness of executive coaching, it is crucial to continue to build upon the
growing body of research in order to broaden understanding and clarify the best use
for executive coaching within organisations (Abbott, 2006). This research project is
therefore seeking to provide further empirical data along with interpretive
conclusions to further examine some of the anecdotal testimonies widely available,
and provide insight into how executive coaching impacts upon the development of
executives.
In order to examine some of the processes and outcomes of executive
coaching, the focus of this research will concern itself with executive coachings
impact upon leaders in the three psychological affects of psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment. Further it will also
investigate the behavioural effect of leader-empowering behaviours and the
developmental process of psychological empowerment. Finally, there will be an
investigation into any flow on effect from leaders being coached to their coachees.
The psychological and behavioural measures used for investigation in this research
will be elaborated upon in depth in chapter two of this thesis. Furthermore, to
control for the specific practice of executive coaching in this research, leaders will be
asked to record their perceptions on their executive coaching experience by using the
constructs from previous executive coaching research of the quality of coaching
process and the quality of the coaching relationship (Dingman, 2004).
Chapter One
3

An explanation will now be given for why the particular behavioural and
psychological outcomes in this research have been chosen for exploration. First,
psychological empowerment has been a sought after affect within organisations over
the past two decades in order to create more engaged, adaptable, innovative and
effective employees within the workplace (Conger, 1989; Lawrence, 1997; Quinn &
Spreitzer, 1997). Furthermore, there is limited research information on the
relationship of executive coaching with the variable of psychological empowerment.
Second, although research on job satisfaction has been conducted over many years
there is limited empirical research concerning the effects of executive coaching on
improving job satisfaction, which has been demonstrated to diminish employee
attrition, decrease intention to leave and create deeper commitment in employees
(Locke, 1976; Lund, 2003).
Third, affective commitment has been chosen for exploration because it is
considered one of the three facets of organisational commitment which produces
intrinsic motivation within employees causing positive sustainable organisational
commitment levels (Meyer, Allen, & Smith, 1993; Tansky & Cohen, 2001).
Additionally, there has been little research conducted on the relationship between
executive coaching and affective commitment. Finally, leader-empowering
behaviours have been demonstrated by some to have a significant association with
higher levels of psychological empowerment (Konczak, Stelly, & Trusty, 2000).
Therefore this research sought to explore the impact executive coaching would have
upon the relationship between leader-empowering behaviours and psychological
empowerment. Furthermore, leader-empowering behaviours consist of leadership
components that align well with desirable organisational and executive coaching
outcomes (Kilburg, 1996; Konczak et al., 2000). For example, the leader-
Chapter One
4

empowering component of appropriate delegation of authority has been shown to
increase individual positive motivation (Seibert, Silver, & Randolph, 2004).
Additionally, Kilburg (1996), in discussing typical goals for an executive coaching
intervention, mentions increasing a leaders capacity to manage an organisation more
effectively through the way they work with their staff, which involves leadership
behaviours such as delegating.
Research problem
Although the use of executive coaching as a means of leadership
development has increased over time, there is still a need for further empirical
evidence to clarify its effectiveness, and better understand the developmental nature
of some of its effects (Barner, 2006; Olivero, Bane, & Kopelman, 1997; Smither et
al., 2003). Therefore, this research is investigating specific psychological and
behavioural outcomes, within a work context to test executive coachings
effectiveness for developing leaders in these areas. It is also seeking to investigate
what developmental processes are involved in executive coaching to produce higher
levels of psychological empowerment within leaders. Research questions and
hypotheses are presented to expand upon the research problem.
Essentially it is argued that executive coaching is an effective leadership
development tool for increasing leaders psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction, and affective commitment levels, along with their leader-empowering
behaviours. However, unless an executive coaching intervention considers
potentially negative influencing factors it is likely to demonstrate some
ineffectiveness. Three factors, in particular, that need consideration are firstly the
variables of organisational context, secondly focussing on specific antecedents that
Chapter One
5

contribute to desired executive coaching outcomes and thirdly managing the
perceptions of immediate work colleagues throughout the coaching intervention.
It is further argued in this thesis that the developmental process of
psychological empowerment from an executive coaching intervention starts with a
number of executive coachings rudimentary practices. These practices include
elements such as goal-setting, accountability and action-reflection, which lead to
specific executive coaching outcomes. Some of these coaching outcomes are setting
clear work priorities, gaining more input from others through using questions and
removal of self-imposed restrictions. These outcomes consequently contribute to the
development of one or more of the four facets of psychological empowerment,
producing leaders who feel more empowered.
Research questions
The research literature on executive coaching discusses executive coaching as
being a leadership development tool that produces effective behaviour change and
positive psychological affects within leaders (Baron & Morin, 2009; Finn, 2007;
Moen & Allgood, 2009; Wales, 2003). In order to gain a deeper understanding of
the effectiveness of executive coaching upon the particular behavioural and
psychological outcomes of leader-empowering behaviours, psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment, and some of the process
involved, this research seeks to answer the following four questions.
1. Is executive coaching with a leader associated with the increased
psychological affects of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction
and affective commitment?
Chapter One
6

2. Is executive coaching with a leader associated with an increase in
their leader-empowering behaviours, which is also directly related to
increases in their psychological empowerment?
3. If psychological empowerment increases in a leader through
executive coaching, does this directly relate to increases in their job
satisfaction and affective commitment?
4. Does executive coaching with leaders produce a flow on effect to
others, specifically, increased psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment?
Methodology
Previous research on executive coaching has often lacked the opportunity to
develop an experimental design (Finn, 2007). Furthermore, when experimental
designs are secured, they tend to consist of small sample sizes (Luthans & Peterson,
2003). Ideal scenarios have been difficult to secure because of practical
organisational factors, such as time constraints on executives schedules, the lack of
desire to provide data, difficulty in securing leaders willing to be in a control group
(a problem encountered in this research) and the inability to obtain sample groups of
significant numbers being coached (Finn, 2007; Olivero et al., 1997; Thach, 2002;
Wales, 2003). As a result of these constraints this research conducted both a
quantitative and qualitative study. Both methods are discussed at length in chapter
three of this thesis, and will now be briefly summarised.
The quantitative study consisted of a pre and post test design using a 7-point
Likert scale questionnaire to measure leaders leader-empowering behaviours,
psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment, before and
after the executive coaching intervention. Leaders receiving executive coaching in
Chapter One
7

this study were primarily being coached in how to coach others. This was a
voluntary activity as a part of their professional development to enable them to
improve their leadership. It was also a part of an integrated organisational strategy to
create a coaching culture.
Since the leaders receiving executive coaching were coaching others within
the organisation, the same three psychological measures of psychological
empowerment (Spreitzer, 1992), job satisfaction (Locke, 1976; Christen, Iyer, &
Soberman, 2006) and affective commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991) were used pre
and post coaching to examine the effects of coaching upon the leaders coachees.
Each of the measures used came from previously validated and reliable
instruments within their field of research. There were two executive coaching
measures used, being quality of the executive coaching relationship and quality of
the executive coaching process, which established participants perceptions of their
experience from being coached (Dingman, 2004). Thus, these questionnaires could
only be used to gather information post coaching and aided in examining the
standard and consistency of the participants experiences from receiving executive
coaching. A pre and post test was also conducted with the team members (subset of
coachees, only those coachees who were under the direct authority of the leader
coaching them) of the leaders being coached which measured their perceptions of
their leaders empowering behaviours.
The overall structure of the methodology aided in providing valuable
information regarding the relationship that executive coaching had with each of the
measures being examined and with some of the relationships the measures had with
each other throughout the executive coaching intervention. The method also
supported the desired investigation into any potential flow on effect through
Chapter One
8

executive coaching. This information should provide some helpful guidance to
organisations looking to utilise the developmental approach of executive coaching as
an integrated organisational strategy with the effect on particular measures that were
examined.
The qualitative study, which sought to examine the developmental nature of
psychological empowerment as a result of executive coaching, used a semi-
structured interview at the midway point of the executive coaching intervention. The
questions from the interview were compiled predominantly from Spreitzers (1992)
four-faceted construct of psychological empowerment, along with a question that
sought participants overall perspectives of the benefits of being coached to that point.
With permission, all the interviews were recorded and later transcribed for coding
purposes. Themes did emerge which allowed for conclusions to be made regarding
the developmental nature of psychological empowerment through executive
coaching. Important links were made between specific executive coaching activities,
their outcomes and psychological empowerment.
Structure of thesis
The proceeding chapters in this thesis are structured in the following manner.
Chapter two conducts a review of the research literature on executive coaching,
looking at its various definitions, components, processes and results, specifically
focussing on psychological and behavioural outcomes. Furthermore, the review
looks at the importance of the psychological affects of psychological empowerment,
job satisfaction and affective commitment, defining them and comparing them with
the outcomes of executive coaching. Finally, it reviews the behavioural construct of
leader-empowering behaviours looking at its components and correlating them with
the outcomes of executive coaching.
Chapter One
9

There is also a review on the executive coaching constructs of the quality of
the executive coaching process and the quality of the executive coaching
relationship, which were used to control for the quality of the leaders executive
coaching experiences within this research (Dingman, 2004). Chapter three discusses
the methodology used in this thesis looking at both the quantitative and qualitative
studies used in order to triangulate the results to better understand the effectiveness
of executive coaching upon the measures chosen and the developmental nature of
psychological empowerment. Chapter four presents the analyses of the collected
data from both studies. Finally, chapter five provides a discussion about the analyses
through presenting conceptualisations, contributions, conclusions and implications.
Conclusion
This research seeks to examine the effectiveness of an integrated
organisational executive coaching intervention to develop leaders in their ability to
utilise leader-empowering behaviours while experiencing increases in their feelings
of empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment. Further, it seeks to
examine any flow on effect to coached leaders coachees in the psychological areas
of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment. It also
endeavours to investigate the developmental nature of psychological empowerment
within leaders through the process of being coached. This thesis aims to accomplish
this investigation through the use of a quantitative and qualitative study, where the
results will be compared together for a comprehensive understanding. The results
are intended to contribute to current gaps within the research literature on executive
coaching and its relationship between psychological empowerment, leader-
empowering behaviours, job satisfaction, and affective commitment. The results are
Chapter One
10

also intended to aid organisations and leaders in their ongoing quest for optimum
leadership development practices.

11

Chapter 2 - Literature review
Introduction

This literature review commences by discussing the executive coaching
industry and developing a working definition. In order to control for the quality of
leaders executive coaching experiences within this research two variables relating to
the executive coaching relationship and the executive coaching process are
identified. The review then explores the relationship between executive coaching
and the three psychological affects of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction
and affective commitment. Following this the relationship between executive
coaching and the behavioural variable, leader-empowering behaviours, is
examined. Consideration is then given to any potential flow on effect from coached
leaders to their team members. The review also presents five hypotheses to assist in
answering the proposed research questions along with a research model outlining
both the quantitative and qualitative studies in this research project.
Executive coaching
Executive coaching industry

The continuing evolution of executive coaching has seen it branch out into
many proactive endeavours to enable productive organisational change through
working with key leaders. Some of the many applications today for executive
coaching are: supplementing training, content coaching, skill development,
leadership coaching, team building, better means of communication, organisational
performance, self-improvement of leaders through increasing levels of self-
awareness and goal-setting for professional development (Hall et al., 1999; Olivero
et al., 1997; Stevens, 2005; Thach, 2002). As the practice of executive coaching is
Chapter Two
12

being adopted more and more within organisations as a leadership development tool,
executive coaches are beginning to specialise in specific areas in order to target their
services to areas of need (Olivero et al., 1997; Sherin & Caiger, 2004; Thach, 2002).
This varied approach is being welcomed by the coaching industry because it has
encouraged a shift away from the early practice of just calling in a coach to help a
derailing executive (Thach, 2002).
One overriding characteristic of these coaching applications is their
undertaking to enable leaders to think, feel and behave more effectively, creating
better outcomes for them along with their team members, within a variety of
organisational contexts (Goldsmith, 2004; Sherin & Caiger, 2004). Executive
coaching has grown and adapted quickly to cater for leaders needs within the
rapidly changing business environment, continually morphing its approach (Kampa-
Kokesch & Anderson, 2001).
Therefore, in recognising the rapid growth and evolution of the coaching
industry, which now can offer a vast array of positive intervention strategies, one
needs to also recognise the increased difficulty to clearly define what executive
coaching is (Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001). Contributing further to this
difficulty of accurately defining executive coaching is the ongoing debate about who
is qualified to conduct it (Bono, Purvanova, Towler, & Peterson, 2009). Thus, in this
recent period of its existence, it has now become a focus in the literature to define
executive coaching and more thoroughly explore its effectiveness, along with
analysing what qualifies a person to conduct executive coaching (Bono et al., 2009;
Grant, 2009; Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001; Moen & Allgood, 2009).
Therefore, a discussion concerning the definition of executive coaching shall now be
Chapter Two
13

presented which will help inform this research and enable the reader to better
understand the research subject.
Defining executive coaching

In order to further discuss executive coaching, a working definition will now
be developed. Kilburgs (1996) definition, discussed below, is highly respected and
used widely in the literature and therefore will be featured as a part of this review.
However, because this project is working with a not-for-profit organisation, the first
definition presented will be from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) which
incorporates this element. The ICF is a widely recognised international body which
exists primarily to promote professional standards of conduct and expertise within
the coaching industry. In recent years it has evolved in its promotion of evidenced-
based executive coaching on behalf of the coaching industry (ICF Annual
International Conference 2009). Importantly, evidence-based coaching relies on
current cross-disciplinary knowledge from rigorous, relevant, valid research
contributing to increased credibility and practice of executive coaching (Abbott,
2006).
The following definition was espoused at the Executive Coaching Summit
1999 sponsored by the ICF:
Executive coaching is a facilitative one-on-one, mutually designed
relationship between a professional coach and a key contributor who has a
powerful position in the organization. This relationship occurs in areas of
business, government, not-for-profit, and educational organizations where
there are multiple stakeholders and organizational support for the coach or
coaching group. The coaching is contracted for the benefit of a client who is
accountable for highly complex decisions with wide scope of impact on the
Chapter Two
14

organizational performance or development, but may also have a personal
component as well. The results produced from this relationship are
observable and measurable, commensurate with the requirements the
organization has for the performance of the person being coached (Seamons,
2006, p. 9).
There are specific elements that emerge from this definition of executive
coaching. Firstly, at the heart of executive coaching there is the existence of at least
a single one-on-one relationship between a coach and a leader. Secondly, the
relationship is co-developed so that the agenda of the coaching incorporates the
individual executives needs increasing strong personal engagement in the coaching
process. Thirdly, the coaching agenda is to be in line with the organisations
strategic focus. Fourthly, the coaching intervention is driven by performance
outcomes that are measurable. Fifthly, there is organisational support given to the
coaching intervention by key stakeholders in the organisation. Finally, the coach is
depicted as a professional, implying that they are an external specialist.
The last two elements carry special implications for this research and require
further discussion. Firstly, the senior leadership of the organisation in which this
study was conducted gave full support to the coaching intervention. This support
was given from both a strategic perspective as well as from their personal
commitment to coaching as a leadership development paradigm. The ICF definition
(1999) above seems to assume that an executive coaching intervention automatically
involves organisational support. In one sense, unless an individual executive
acquires coaching outside of the organisations knowledge, it can be assumed that
there is organisational support from the standpoint of funding and sponsoring.
However, historically in practice long-term and integrated approaches to executive
Chapter Two
15

coaching have been rarely implemented (Megginson & Clutterbuck, 2006). Thus, if
this research reveals successful outcomes from the executive coaching intervention
then one key factor to consider would be the integrated organisational long-term
approach taken with the ongoing support to implementation.
Secondly, a further point in the ICF definition (1999) that impacts upon this
research is the use of the term professional, indicating that executive coaches are
external specialists. The reason for the impact is that the coaching being measured
in this study is delivered by a combination of external and internal coaches, which
will be elaborated upon in more depth later in this thesis. Additionally, the
perspective of executive coaches being exclusively external is also something
implied by Kilburgs (1996) definition directly below where he uses the term
consultant and it also seems to be the general default position in the literature.
Executive coaching is defined as a helping relationship formed between a
client who has managerial authority and responsibility in an organization
and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioral techniques and
methods to help the client achieve a mutually identified set of goals to
improve his or her professional performance and personal satisfaction and,
consequently, to improve the effectiveness of the clients organization within
a formally defined coaching agreement (Kilburg, 1996, p. 142).
In contrast to a strictly external view, a number of highly respected
practitioners and researchers, under their definition of executive coaching, simply
discuss executive coaching through defining its processes and outcomes (Hall et al.,
1999; Karsten, Baggot, Brown, & Cahill, 2010; O' Neill, 2000; Wasylyshyn, 2003;
Zeus & Skiffington, 2000). Zeus and Skiffington (2000) speak of executive
coaching as a customized, collaborative relationship between an executive and a
Chapter Two
16

coach which aims to bring about sustained behavioural change. Zeus and
Skiffington (2000) explain further that executive coaching is concerned with
designing and facilitating change and continuous improvement. As such, it involves
understanding and capitalising on an individuals strengths as well as recognising
and overcoming his or her weaknesses.
Furthermore a number of these authors also discuss the use of both internal
and external consultants (Hall et al., 1999; Karsten et al., 2010; Wasylyshyn, 2003).
There are also a number of discussions in the literature about the lack of coherence
among researchers regarding a clear definition of executive coaching overall, which
has led to some of this disparity (Hamlin, Ellinger, & Beattie, 2009; Natale &
Diamante, 2005; Sperry, 2008). It is understandable to tighten the definition of
executive coaching to outside specialists, because they tend to bring helpful
dynamics to organisations, such as less conflicts of interest, greater personal
confidentiality and wider repertoire of intervention experience (Wasylyshyn, 2003).
However, there are certain conditions where an internal coach could also
bring these dynamics. Abbott, Stening, Atkins and Grant (2006) discuss the typical
role of executive coaches as being outside the executives organisation but also point
out that there seems to be a trend towards multinational companies hiring internal
coaches. In fact, Wasylyshyn (2003) suggests the possibility of a new position being
created in large organisations with a title like Chief Psychology Officer (CPO). The
CPO would supervise the internal coaches throughout the organisation sourcing
them from willing human resources professionals, line managers and functional
staff. Thus, it is possible in large organisations to have trained internal consultants
who can deliver high quality executive coaching services to employees who are not
in an existing relationship with the consultant/s.
Chapter Two
17

The organisation being examined in this research project fits into this profile.
It is a large organisation with approximately 1800 employees and numerous
volunteers spanning across a large geographical area. Structurally, the organisation
has traditionally possessed internal consultants who are highly trained and
experienced in their field of expertise. Additionally, the upper leadership bring
significant experience and honed training skills from their career pathway to their
positions of authority. Hence the organisations integrated strategy was to create a
coaching culture through an external executive coaching intervention by training
internal consultants and key leaders in coaching techniques. The training involved a
coaching element so that each participant didnt just experience training about
coaching but was individually coached receiving a customised experience according
to their needs.
Furthermore, the complete training and coaching process delivered by the
external coaches (known as coach mentors (CMs)) was eventually (over a three year
period) to be transferred into the hands of willing internal consultants who would
also become known as CMs. The internal CMs were developed by the external
coaches through participating in the first round of training and coaching along with
other leaders, where they first achieved coach accreditation (from the external
executive coaching organisation) and then were to be selected as CMs. These
trained internal CMs would in turn cascade the training and coaching experience to
leaders in the organisation enabling them to be internally accredited coaches for the
purpose of using coaching techniques with their staff and volunteers. This would
eventually allow the coach training to be delivered throughout the organisation
which was both cost effective and at a quality standard.
Chapter Two
18

This research intersected the unfolding of this strategic plan at the point of
the newly trained internal CMs working alongside the external CMs to deliver their
first lot of training and coaching to leaders in the organisation. These leaders were
categorised as coaches in training (CITs) and the people they coached (sometimes
of equal position and not necessarily under their supervisory authority, during the
accreditation process) were categorised as coachees. Hence, in this research the
definition of executive coaching applies to the external coaches brought in to deliver
the organisation-wide integrated process and the trained accredited and selected
internal consultants in charge of the ongoing implementation of the organisation-
wide integrated strategy.
Kilburg (1996) conducted an extensive review on the executive coaching
literature and contributes further to the definition of executive coaching by speaking
of the wide variety of behavioural techniques a coach uses. He contends that good
executive coaching involves psychological motivation to move human beings toward
certain defined goals over a significant period of time (Kilburg, 2001). In fact many
argue that executive coach training for coaches should involve a certain amount of
psychological theory and training in order for the coach to offer the best quality
experience (Kilburg, 2001; Levinson, 1996; Sherin & Caiger, 2004). Goleman,
Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) submit that executive coaching is a confidential
relationship which entails a process involving leadership development as an ongoing
focus. They state that it is a safe place where leaders can freely explore areas that
they may never have discussed before about their own dreams and their business
challenges especially challenges that involve dealing with people (Goleman et al.,
2002). A list of issues that may be part of an executive coaching intervention
Chapter Two
19

according to Goleman et al. (2002) are: the leaders team, organisational culture, and
politics and how these elements fit with business strategy.
Sometimes in defining what something is, it is helpful to examine what it is
not. Evers et al. (2006), for example, contrasts executive coaching with training
explaining that training is, for the most part, a pre-determined package which is quite
inflexible while the coaching agenda is significantly influenced by the coachee who
helps set the goals to be achieved. Abbott et al. (2006) add further that training tends
to be a one-off event seeking to aid in the acquisition of specific knowledge and
skills, while coaching is a more holistic process catering to the individuals affective,
behavioural and cognitive domains. Executive coaching can be distinguished from
training, in that the training process tends to follow a predetermined agenda, is often
a one-off event, and is frequently focused on the acquisition of knowledge or a
specific behavioural skill.
Similarly, mentoring involves someone with expert knowledge in a specific
area passing on their knowledge and interpretive experiences to someone with less
expertise, while executive coaching draws out the collective insights of the executive
toward forward progress (Evers et al., 2006). Seamons (2006) describes mentoring
as having a subtle distinction from executive coaching which generally occurs
between two professionals. The mentor tends not to be formally trained in how to
provide any type of prescribed assessment, feedback or personal development but is
experienced in specific areas that the mentee is looking to develop in (Seamons,
2006). Whitmore (1994) likens mentoring to that of an apprenticeship, where a more
experienced person within the context of a commercial enterprise transfers their
knowledge and skills of how to achieve specific tasks. He also states that mentoring
Chapter Two
20

involves a longer-term procurement of skills in an emerging career through a form of
advising and counseling (Whitmore, 1994).
According to Dingman (2004) a key distinction between counselling and
executive coaching is the focus. Generally speaking, executive coaching focuses on
the future, collaborating with healthy individuals on achieving goals and latent
potential in order to maximize organisational and personal fulfilment. Counselling
focuses on increasing individual functionality by dealing with both the clients past
and present weaknesses, often working with issues such as addiction, emotional
instability, psychological impairment, and co-dependency (Dingman, 2004).
Having considered the definitions of executive coaching found in the
literature, and the unique organisational context of this research project, the
following definition is proposed for the purpose of this research:
Executive coaching is a multi-disciplinary one-to-one people-helping
process. It is best implemented as an organisation-wide integrated strategy.
It incorporates personal and organisational psychology, business acumen,
people-management skills and accurate goal-setting capabilities. In essence,
it is a collaborative relationship between a leader and a trained coach (with
allowance for an internal coach if there is no supervisory authority over the
coachee) in order for leaders to attain personal and organisational outcomes
in a balanced and effective manner, discovering their own path to success.
Having established this definition of executive coaching seeing it as a
collaborative relationship involving a people-helping process, the next two sections
of this review will focus on two executive coaching variables that will be utilised in
this research project. The two variables are the executive coaching process and the
executive coaching relationship.
Chapter Two
21

The executive coaching process

One important factor involved in an effective executive coaching intervention
is managing the executive coaching process (Kilburg, 2001; Natale & Diamante,
2005). The executive coaching process needs to be delivered consistently at a
quality standard in order to create the best opportunity for desired outcomes (Barner,
2006; Giglio, Diamante, & Urban, 1998; Kilburg, 2001). Furthermore, the human
component in the delivery of these different elements could invariably lead to
inconsistent, ineffective treatment (Dingman, 2004). Hence, this research project
will control for this variable by analysing participants responses to their perceived
experience of the executive coaching process.
The executive coaching literature depicts a plethora of components, stages,
phases, approaches, models, and steps all seeking to lead the way, or discover best
practice, for the best executive coaching process (Barner, 2006; Giglio et al., 1998;
Kleinberg, 2001; Natale & Diamante, 2005; Olivero et al., 1997; Thach, 2002;
Trudeau, 2004). Although the executive coaching process is not universally defined,
there are a number of elements that consistently emerge as accepted practice
(Kilburg, 1996). Dingman (2004, p. 21) has developed a helpful overview, presented
in Table 2.1 below, which compares eleven different models of the executive
coaching process found in the literature.
From the eleven different models presented in Table 2.1, Dingman (2004)
developed a new comprehensive model consisting of a 6-element process described
below. Furthermore, Dingman (2004) designed an 18-item questionnaire to measure
the six components. The reliability analysis reported by Dingman (2004) on her 6-
element process revealed an acceptable alpha coefficient of 0.89, justifying its use in
this research project. Thus her 18-item questionnaire will be adopted in this research
Chapter Two
22


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Chapter Two
23

to measure the consistent use of these rudimentary elements within each coaching
intervention. The 6 components of Dingmans (2004) model are:
1. Formal Contracting
2. Relationship Building
3. Assessment
4. Getting Feedback and Reflecting
5. Goal-Setting
6. Implementation and Evaluation.
There is a need to examine the process of executive coaching through a
systematic approach in order to more clearly define best practice. However when
investigating models like the ones presented in Table 2.1, one needs reminding that
coaching by its very nature is an iterative process (Abbott, 2006). Similarly, ONeill
(2000) warns that although a coaching methodology is presented in a step-by-step
progression, human beings tend to respond in a non-linier fashion undoing the most
superbly constructed methodologies.
An analysis of how the executive coaching literature further defines and
supports the elements of Dingmans (2004) model gives credence to its use in this
study. The first of Dingmans (2004) components, formal contracting, is an often
repeated component within the literature. Kilburg (1996) uses Weinbergers five
steps, and the one that matches here is Developing an intervention agreement.
Trudeau (2004) presents an eight phase executive coaching process and the second
corresponds here, being labelled contracting with the client. Thachs (2002) 3-
component process labels the first as contracting, which deals with specific facets
as setting up the agreement, confidentiality, goals, resources, and costs. Barner
(2006) presents a 5-component model with the second component also titled
Chapter Two
24

contracting. Clearly the widespread mention of this component and its primacy in
the coaching process, points to it as a foundational aspect of executive coaching.
The second component within Dingmans (2004) model, relationship
building, is agreed upon by researchers, in general, as a vital ingredient. Dingman
(2004) distinguishes between this second component and the quality of the coaching
relationship itself by seeing this second component as the initial building of the
relational connection as compared to the overall quality experienced by the
executive. This will be discussed in more depth in the next section (Dingman, 2004).
Barner (2006) and Trudeau (2004) both identify this component as their first,
revealing its foundational nature in their mindset. Barner (2006) labels it trust
building, while Trudeau (2004) establishing a relationship with the client.
Dingmans (2004) third component, assessment, is a regularly used facet of
executive coaching with many models using it as a part of the executive coaching
process (Barner, 2006; Kleinberg, 2001; Thach, 2002; Trudeau, 2004). Zeus and
Skiffington (2000) speak about the use of a formal assessment and state that it is an
effective tool for collecting data on the coachee. Thach (2002) in her second
component speaks about data collection through the use of various reliable and
valid tools such as 360 degree assessments, personality inventories, and one-to-one
interviews with people who in some way interrelate to the executive. Kilburg (2001)
says that every executive coach needs to ask themselves a crucial question: Have I
made an accurate assessment? because an accurate assessment forms the foundation
for all that follows in the coaching intervention. The whole tenor of Barners (2006)
technical paper focuses on the assessment process which he states is crucial in
diagnosing the executives needs for the coaching relationship.
Chapter Two
25

Dingmans (2004) fourth component is defined as getting feedback and
reflecting. It involves a thorough interpretation of what the assessment has revealed
and making sure the executives perceptions are fully considered in interpreting the
current state of the situation (Dingman, 2004). Trudeau (2004) speaks of the
essential nature of feedback as a part of a double-loop learning process, causing the
executive, through interaction with the coach, to healthily scrutinize the basis from
which they are operating in case it too needs to be readjusted before a new strategy is
employed. Equivalence can also be identified in Thachs (2002) third component,
coaching, which incorporates reviewing data that has been collected, receiving
advice, and being confronted about any discrepancies or challenged about stepping
up.
Natale and Diamante (2005) incorporate part of this fourth component in
their dialogue and skill acquisition element: the dialogue involves discovery,
analysis, and verification. Natale and Diamante (2005) place a high premium in their
coaching model on the interaction between cognitive, emotional, physical and
behavioural dynamics, which enables the executive to discern the reality of his/her
situation from any incongruous internal dialogue, emotive responses, physical
reactions, or behavioural activity.
The fifth component in Dingmans (2004) model is goal-setting, which is
clearly a fundamental component found in most models of the coaching process
(Grant, Spence, Linley, Harrington, & Garcea, 2010). Dingman (2004) describes
this component as determining the goals or outcomes that the executive wants to
achieve as well as developing an action plan for accomplishing the goals. Once there
has been significant reflection over the feedback, the executive receives a new self-
understanding and a new perspective of their work situation and, upon this basis, is
Chapter Two
26

able to set new contextually appropriate and effective goals (Dingman, 2004).
Trudeaus (2004) fifth component in her 8-component model is developing an
action plan, which she describes as a specific written document guiding the
executive toward achieving their goals. She states that an action plan contains
specific elements such as a clearly stated purpose, objectives that describe the action
the client wants to take, observations and feedback for development, a timeline for
achieving the goals, tasks needed to achieve the goals, resources needed, and
measures of success (Trudeau, 2004). Trudeau (2004) states further that permanent
change demands that the executive increases in self-awareness, decision-making
skills and problem-solving skills and commits to action.
In the final component an environment is created whereby the coach and
executive meet regularly and openly to review progress being made toward the goals
that have been set. This component which Dingman (2004) labels, implementation
and evaluation, consists of the commencement of the formal coaching sessions, a
schedule for evaluating the plan, and concluding the coaching relationship.
Sometimes, in helping the executive implement certain action plans, the coach will
observe the executives interactions with others and reflect back to them dynamics
that enable the executive to see things in a new light and take alternative action
(Sherin & Caiger, 2004).
Congruity with this concept is also found in Kilburgs (1996) final
component where the evaluation process is designed to measure the success or
failure of the coaching intervention. Kilburg (2004) discusses the idea of evaluating
each coaching session as well as periodically reviewing what has been accomplished
in the coaching relationship (Kilburg, 2001). Olivero et al.s (1997) sixth component
of their 7-element model is labelled evaluation of end results and in their case they
Chapter Two
27

looked for specific outcomes as evidence of the change from executives being
coached. Sherin and Caiger (2004) speak of the final stage of coaching where both
the coach and the executive assess their achievements. They see this as a time for
reinforcing positive change and for further exploring of other possible dysfunctions
that are interfering with job performance (Sherin & Caiger, 2004).
It is clear from the above review that Dingmans (2004) model of the
coaching process is comprehensive and aligns itself with the general tenor of
executive coaching literature. It is also clear that although there are many nuances in
emphases in the various elements investigated in the review, her model encompasses
the key elements found in most suggested executive coaching processes. It is
therefore considered prudent to adopt Dingmans (2004) model and corresponding
questionnaire in order to control for the variable of the quality of the executive
coaching process in this research. Having discussed the importance of the quality of
the executive coaching process, the quality of the coaching relationship will now be
explored. This part of the executive coaching experience also has a potent influence
upon the effectiveness of an executive coaching intervention (Barner, 2006; Olivero
et al., 1997; Thach, 2002).
Quality of the executive coaching relationship

The resolution to investigate the quality of the coaching relationship, and the
consequential decision to control for this variable in this research, arose from
previous studies which have shown the coaching relationship to be a crucial
dimension for successful coaching outcomes (Kilburg, 2001; Thach, 2002). This
research acknowledges that coaches bring various skill-levels to every coaching
relationship which impact on their ability to maintain effective coaching outcomes.
This variable, the quality of the coaching relationship, will therefore be analysed by
Chapter Two
28

gaining participants responses to questions concerning the coaching relationship. If
both these variables, the quality of the coaching process and the quality of the
coaching relationship, are at a high standard then the best possibility exists for a
quality coaching experience for participants and both variables may be excluded
from any association with negative results that may occur (Barner, 2006; Kilburg,
1996; Olivero et al., 1997; Thach, 2002).
The quality of the executive coaching relationship measure for this research
project was designed by Dingman (2004). It involved constructing a 16-item
questionnaire consisting of three components. A reliability analysis conducted on
this measure revealed an acceptable coefficient alpha rating of 0.95. The three
components of the measure are interpersonal skills, communication skills and
instrumental support. Interpersonal skills are comprised of a depth of understanding
and behaviour in how to support, motivate, and care for executives in such a way as
to create a strong relational bond for an effective, lasting and meaningful working
relationship (Dingman, 2004; Kilburg, 1996). Other important interpersonal skills
involve the ability to engender encouragement, show empathy, create a climate of
trust, and remain emotionally calm when the executive is emotionally distressed
(Dingman, 2004; Wasylyshyn, 2003).
An effective communication style involves balancing the verbal delivery of
the right words and tone to facilitate the executives discussion in the direction of the
set goals with the use of active listening so as not to pre-empt the conclusions
(Dingman, 2004). The communication style also necessitates being patient, using
open-ended questions to draw out what is already there, and helping the executive to
increase their self-awareness and to make more effective decisions (Dingman, 2004;
Trudeau, 2004). Strategically, communication style also involves moving the
Chapter Two
29

executive through the 6 components of the coaching process in an iterative fashion
while never forgetting the executives frame of reference (Dingman, 2004).
Instrumental support includes how the coachs behaviour and questioning
techniques stimulates the executive to think, feel, and explore new ideas and
behaviours (Dingman, 2004; Goldsmith, 2004; Kilburg, 1996; Sherin & Caiger,
2004). The key concept is to see how well the coach creates an atmosphere which
helps support the executive to continually develop (Dingman, 2004; Giglio et al.,
1998; Seamons, 2006). This concept also involves the way the coach works with the
executive, when there is resistance to change, to enable paradigm shifts which create
completely new norms of behaviour (Dingman, 2004; Kilburg, 1996; Natale &
Diamante, 2005).
From the discussion on both the variables of the quality of the executive
coaching process and quality of the executive coaching relationship, it stands to
reason that a coach needs to have an understanding of the coaching process in order
to be effective, but without quality coaching relationship skills the best process
model alone will not produce great results. Executive coaching literature therefore
stresses the need for coaches to be able to utilise interpersonal and communication
skills with expertise in order to guide the executive effectively through an effective
coaching process (Kilburg, 1996; Kleinberg, 2001; Natale & Diamante, 2005; Wales,
2003; Wasylyshyn, 2003). Hence the reason for using Dingmans (2004) measures
to control for these two variables in this research project. The next section of this
review will focus on the psychological affects that will be examined in this research
project.

Chapter Two
30

Executive coaching and psychological affects

In order to assist in answering the first research question (Is executive
coaching with a leader associated with the increased psychological affects of
psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment?) this review
will now discuss the three psychological affects under investigation. There is
emerging evidence in the research literature that executive coaching is associated
with significant positive psychological changes within leaders being coached (Baron
& Morin, 2009; Evers et al., 2006; Finn, Mason, & Bradley, 2007; Moen & Allgood,
2009). Finn et al. (2007), in their research with leaders being trained and coached in
transformational leadership, found significant positive improvement in four
psychological states: self-efficacy, developmental support, openness to new
behaviours and developmental planning. Evers et al. (2006), Baron and Morin
(2009), and Moen and Allgood (2009) all demonstrate along with Finn et al. (2007)
that executive coaching is associated with a significant positive increase in leaders
self-efficacy levels. Recognising the growing amount of research being conducted
upon this variable in relation to executive coaching, it was decided to explore a
related variable that had been given little attention in the executive coaching
literature. According to Conger and Kanungo (1988) the variables of self-efficacy
and psychological empowerment are closely related and both are desired affects for
organisations.
Recognising therefore the potential for executive coaching to be associated
with a number of psychological affects needed for leadership development, it was
decided to examine some affects which are generally considered highly
commendable characteristics to promote within organisations. Furthermore, the
psychological affects chosen for this research project have received modest attention
Chapter Two
31

within the executive coaching research literature, with some affects revealing mixed
results (Dingman, 2004; Luthans & Peterson, 2003). It is therefore hoped that this
research will fill some of the existing gap that currently exists in the literature.
The specific psychological affects chosen for examination in this research are
psychological empowerment (Spreitzer, Kizilos, & Nason, 1997), job satisfaction
(Bullen & Flamholtz, 1985) and affective commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1996).
These three psychological affects will be discussed independently within the next
section of this review. If it can be shown that executive coaching will promote such
psychological shifts within leaders, then it will add further evidence to the
effectiveness of executive coaching as a leadership development tool. It will also
inform organisations seeking to develop their leaders in these specific areas of the
appropriateness of using executive coaching to accomplish such goals. A discussion
will now be conducted on the psychological empowerment variable being examined
in this research.
Psychological empowerment
Importance of empowerment
Within the empowerment literature there appears to be a uniform agreement
about the need for more empowered staff within organisations in order to keep up
with todays fast-paced global competitive environment (Bordin, Bartram, &
Casimir, 2007; Houghton & Yoho, 2005; MacNeil, 2003; Spreitzer, 1992).
Empowerment is seen as one of the crucial strategic characteristics required for
greater employee contribution, expanding their latent talents and underutilised
individual and collective capabilities (Conger, 1989). There has been a growing
trend toward organisations becoming more organic in their structures in order to
adapt to the ever-changing environment and in order to do this best there is a need
Chapter Two
32

for empowered front-line employees to be given more authority to make strategically
aligned decisions (Bhatnagar, 2005; Lawrence, 1997; Shields, 2007).
Quinn and Spreitzer (1997) in applied research with middle managers
contributed several findings to the empowerment literature. They found not only that
psychologically empowered employees perceive themselves as more effective,
increasing their confidence, but also that employees with whom they work assess
them as more effective (Quinn & Spreitzer, 1997). They also ascertained that
empowered middle managers tend to be more transformational in their leadership
approach and adapt better to complex changes when stimulated to do so (Quinn &
Spreitzer, 1997).
Spreitzers (1992) research demonstrates that the pursuit of increased
psychological empowerment within organisations is a worthy goal because it brings
about specific behaviours that are desirable for business leaders to instil within their
employees. Through interviews with 279 middle managers, Spreitzer (1992) showed
that psychological empowerment is inextricably bound to a variety of
organisationally desirable behaviours. For example, when people feel a sense of
empowerment, they were willing to give more of themselves and take calculated
risks for change (Spreitzer, 1992). Further, some behaviours identified in her
research were increased innovation, improved upward influence and managerial
effectiveness, all of which have been identified as vital behaviours for a competitive
advantage (Spreitzer, 1992).
Manifestly organisational environments with rapid discontinuous change
need greater elements of psychological empowerment in order to constantly adapt to
organisational uncertainty (Bhatnagar, 2005; Spreitzer, De Janasz, & Quinn, 1999).
In the current economic climate, empowerment has become a sought after
Chapter Two
33

commodity within the field of human resources and if it can be shown that executive
coaching significantly contributes to increasing empowerment it would further define
a key focus area where executive coaching could be best used (MacNeil, 2003;
Spence Laschinger, Joan, Judith, & Piotr, 2004; Spreitzer, 1992). Furthermore,
having investigated the executive coaching literature and gained an appreciation for
the impact that it can have upon leaders working with team members, it seems a
logical progression to further examine the possible dynamics created by combining
together the two fields of executive coaching and empowerment (Aryee & Zhen
Xiong, 2006; Wasylyshyn, 2003). Therefore, in order to discuss this association
effectively, this review will first investigate an academic definition of what is meant
by empowerment.
Empowerment defined

As one unpacks the subject of empowerment it becomes apparent that there
are many different approaches taken in examining this topic. Researchers have
developed different constructs and different facets within different constructs
(Arnold, Arad, Rhoades, & Drasgow, 2000; Klidas, van den Berg, & Wilderom,
2007; Konczak et al., 2000; Spreitzer, 1992). There have been many approaches to
defining empowerment, thus it is necessary to distinguish between the different types
of empowerment that this research intends to focus on.
As research on empowerment has progressed distinctions can be made
between different aspects of empowerment such as managerial techniques,
managerial behaviours, and an individuals internal experience of empowerment
(Konczak et al., 2000; Spreitzer, 1992). The internal experience labelled
psychological empowerment has received some considerable attention in the
literature over the past two decades because of its important effects on employees as
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mentioned above (Spreitzer, 1992; Spreitzer et al., 1999; Xu, Kan, Zhijie, & Yat Lee,
2006). Accordingly, internal experiences of individuals being empowered can now
be more clearly defined and measured (Spreitzer, 1995b; Thomas & Velthouse,
1990). These internal affects are one of the key areas that this research is going to
investigate, particularly in relation to how it may be influenced within leaders
through executive coaching.
Conger and Kanungo (1988) describe psychological empowerment as a
process that enhances an individuals belief in their own self-efficacy. To be
empowered, therefore, means to strengthen ones belief in their own personal power
(Conger & Kanungo, 1988). They further state that empowerment is feeling a sense
of increased ability or mastery (Conger & Kanungo, 1988). Thomas and Velthouse
(1990) concur with Conger and Kanungo (1988) that psychological empowerment is
associated with an increase in self-efficacy. However, they see that this is related to
only one facet of psychological empowerment - competency.
Since there is limited previous empirical research results on the relationship
between executive coaching and psychological empowerment this relationship with
self-efficacy has implications for this research project. It has already been shown in
previous research that executive coaching has a significant positive relationship with
self-efficacy (Baron & Morin, 2009; Evers et al., 2006; Finn et al., 2007; Moen &
Allgood, 2009). Therefore it is expected that executive coaching will show a
significant positive association with psychological empowerment, especially the
facet of competency.
Thomas and Velthouse (1990) describe psychological empowerment as
intrinsic task motivation. They begin defining empowerment as to give power to,
and explain the term power as to energize, which connotes the idea of strongly
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increasing a persons motivational desire (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990, p. 667). One
significant contribution to the research literature on empowerment is their widely
used definition of psychological empowerment in their four-faceted construct, the
facets being sense of impact, competence, meaningfulness, and choice (Thomas &
Velthouse, 1990).
From Thomas and Velthouses (1990) four-faceted definition, Spreitzer
(1992) developed a questionnaire which has become widely accepted as a
standardised measure for this four-faceted construct of psychological empowerment.
Spreitzer (1995a) conducted an empirical test upon the four dimensional model to
show its level of internal reliability and validity. The results of that research show
that all four facets achieved a reliability score exceeding 0.80 (exceeding the 0.70
acceptable limit) (Spreitzer, 1995a). A confirmatory factor analysis also suggested
that each dimension had its own distinct effect (Spreitzer, 1995a). This reveals that,
within the four-faceted construct, each facet plays an important role in bringing
about its own distinct and potent influence upon psychological empowerment.
A second-order confirmatory factor analysis was conducted also and, as
expected, it suggested that the combination of the four dimensions also plays an
important role because it creates a gestalt effect of intrapersonal empowerment
(Cronbachs alpha reliability of the gestalt was 0.74) (Spreitzer, 1995a). Thus, these
four dimensions of psychological empowerment developed by Thomas and
Velthouse (1990), and Spreitzers (1992) questionnaire for measuring them, have
been well established in the literature. It is therefore the choice of this research
project to use Spreitzers (1992) scale to measure the levels of psychological
empowerment within leaders being coached and their coachees. The labels for the
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four facets of psychological empowerment used in this study were developed by
Spreitzer (1992) and are meaning, impact, competency and self-determination.
Spreitzer (1992) clarifies that these four facets are not predictors or outcomes
of empowerment, but that they encompass the essence of what it feels like to be
empowered. Hence, the facet of meaning speaks of the alignment of ones work
role with personal values, beliefs and behaviours. The facet of impact describes the
feeling of having made a difference through influencing strategic, administrative or
operating outcomes at work. The facet of competency, equated with self-efficacy
by Spreitzer, (1992) speaks of the belief that one has the skills and abilities to
accomplish work tasks well. The final facet is self-determination, which speaks of
the belief that one has autonomy or control over how work can be done (Spreitzer et
al., 1997).
Antecedents of psychological empowerment

It is important to understand psychological empowerment and its facets,
along with certain antecedents that help predict the likelihood of success for
increasing psychological empowerment within employees. The existing literature on
psychological empowerment has identified several important predictors of
empowerment. Spreitzer (1992) and Conger and Kanungos (1988) work focused on
contextual factors influencing psychological empowerment and found that both
socio-political support and access to information were found to be related to each of
the four facets of psychological empowerment. Spreitzer (1992) also briefly
mentions the affect personality traits have in influencing a persons psychological
empowerment and asserts that more research needs to be conducted in this area.
Conger and Kanungo (1988) warn of contextual considerations that need to
be taken into account in understanding how states of powerlessness are produced.
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Some specific examples in the literature are: bureaucratic systems, authoritarian
management style, a fostering dependency upon leaders, denying team members
constructive forms of self-expression, putting team members through negative forms
of manipulation, and involving team members in less meaningful organisational
goals (Block, 1987).
If executive coaching is shown to be a catalyst that can enable the level of
psychological empowerment within employees to increase, there would need to be
consideration given to other factors that are outside the influence of the agreed
coaching relationship. For example Seibert, Silver and Randolph (2004) speak of the
psychological climate of an organisation, which is made up of the collective
interpretations of the employees within an organisation. This psychological climate
affects employees motivations and behaviours and is affected through three key
practices: information sharing, autonomy through boundaries and team
accountability (Seibert et al., 2004).
It seems that for an optimal result for an executive coaching intervention
there would first need to be an analysis on these contextual considerations, perhaps
the removal of any barriers to the possible effectiveness of an executive coaching
intervention, and then the implementation of coaching as a part of a more
comprehensive intervention strategy. Alternatively, the executive coaching
intervention itself could be a comprehensive intervention enabling leaders to
understand and manage the organisational contextual impediments along with other
individual developmental factors.
Lee, Nam, Park, and Lee (2006) analysed the influence of organisational
structure and its relationship to empowerment within the workplace and revealed the
underlying importance of formal structures needing to be aligned with empowerment
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behaviours. They agree with the literature that empowerment must have informal
behaviours operating where positive relationships are developed with supervisors,
peers, and subordinates within the organisation in order to support any formal
strategy to empower employees (Conger & Kanungo, 1988; Klidas et al., 2007;
Seibert et al., 2004; Spreitzer, 1995b). They also contend that the substance of
empowering strategies includes making available the necessary resources for the
work required, receiving support, having ready access to information, and a chance
to learn and grow (Lee et al., 2006).
Many management techniques, including employee participation, sharing of
authority and resourcing of employees, have been often equated with psychological
empowerment (Conger & Kanungo, 1988). However, Conger and Kanungo (1988)
point out the fact that psychological empowerment is a motivational construct,
meaning that one is dealing with the internal states of individuals and, therefore,
simply introducing external mechanisms will not guarantee a change of
psychological state/s. Bhatnagar (2005) also shows that not every industry will have
the same propensity to develop an empowering context for people to work in. Where
there are job roles which have less flexibility (eg. assembly line work) then there is a
context where there is less opportunity for greater empowerment, thus demonstrating
the impact that context has on promoting psychological empowerment (Bhatnagar,
2005).
Therefore, organisations can expect employees to respond negatively to an
empowering strategy if they perceive or feel they are not being empowered by that
strategy (Spreitzer, 1995b). From this discussion it seems, therefore, that executive
coaching when implemented well would be an effective leadership development tool
for increasing psychological empowerment within an organisation, both for the
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leader being coached and for their team members. An executive coaching
intervention could focus on both the contextual issues of creating better formal
structures for empowerment and the task of enabling leaders to increase their
informal relational support of team members. Furthermore, depending on the way
that the intervention is implemented by top leadership, coaching could also be seen
by leaders receiving coaching as a positive formal organisational structure and as a
means of bringing them genuine personal support.
Job satisfaction
Importance of job satisfaction

The second psychological affect being investigated in relation to executive
coaching is job satisfaction. The importance of job satisfaction amongst employees
within organisations can been demonstrated through empirical findings (Miller,
2007). For example, Miller (2007) confirmed a significant negative correlation
between job satisfaction and intention to leave an organisation. The research
literature is consistent on the negative correlation between job satisfaction and
employee intention to leave, implying that increased job satisfaction decreases the
likelihood of increased employee turnover (Bullen & Flamholtz, 1985; Luthans &
Peterson, 2003; Shahnawaz & Jafri, 2009). Further, higher levels of job satisfaction
have shown a significant positive correlation with employee affective commitment
levels, and a greater likelihood of supporting organisational change (Allen & Meyer,
1996).
Preiss and Molina-Ray (2007) discuss how low job satisfaction levels are
associated with higher absenteeism, lower commitment, and employee attrition.
Although there is a significant amount of literature on job satisfaction, there is
relatively little research examining the effects of executive coaching on job
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satisfaction. If executive coaching can be shown to contribute significantly to higher
levels of job satisfaction, organisations could choose to utilize executive coaching as
a means to further contribute to the positive psychological state of their employees
thereby increasing the success of their organisation.
Job satisfaction defined

When one looks at the amount of research conducted on job satisfaction and
its varied antecedents, different facets, and nuances, it becomes apparent that
defining it is not a simple task (Lau, Wing Tung, & Ho, 2003; Locke, 1976; Lund,
2003; H. M. Weiss, 2002). Weiss (2002) even calls into question the accuracy of
much research on job satisfaction based on confusion in the literature over three
associated yet distinct constructs: Evaluations of jobs, beliefs about jobs, and
affective experiences on jobs (p. 173).
It appears that the predominant view in the literature on job satisfaction
depicts it as an affective experience from ones job. Lockes (1976) definition of job
satisfaction as a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from an appraisal
of ones job or job experiences has been chosen as the central definition for the
purposes of this research (p. 1300). Bullen and Flamholtz (1985) broaden the
understanding of job satisfaction by identifying five categories within the various
facets of job satisfaction: the work itself, working conditions, organisational
environment, financial rewards and promotion opportunity.
From an initial analysis of these broad categories it appears that, in order for
executive coaching to affect a positive change in job satisfaction, there would need to
be a combination of both conceptual changes within the executive being coached and
some actual changes within the place of work. Hence, an effective coaching
intervention would require different emphases of focus and input depending on the
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condition of the organisational environment (eg. bureaucracy, culture) in relation to
the individual condition of the executive (eg. evaluation of work, stress levels)
(Luthans & Peterson, 2003). In order for an executive coaching intervention to
target organisation-wide issues to improve job satisfaction levels, executive coaching
would need to be supplemented with other organization-wide supportive strategies.
These strategies would involve elements such as a 360 degree feedback process,
getting direct reports to be a part of the support for change, and full senior
management support (Olivero et al., 1997; Smither et al., 2003; Thach, 2002;
Wasylyshyn, 2003).
Relationship between executive coaching and job satisfaction

There have been a limited number of empirical studies conducted on the
relationship between executive coaching and job satisfaction. However, research on
this relationship is beginning to show some positive results. McGovern et al. (2001)
conducted a qualitative study interviewing 100 executives who had been coached
from between six to twelve months within a four year period between 1996 and
2000. The interview results revealed that 61% of executives reported an
improvement in their job satisfaction levels.
Luthans and Petersons (2003) research examined the combination of
executive coaching and a 360 degree feedback process with 20 managers and 67
workers within the same organisation. A simple pre post test design was utilised to
compare job satisfaction results before and after coaching. The study used a
standardised job satisfaction measure with established psychometric properties. The
focus of the intervention was on improving the managers managerial self-regulatory
behaviours: behavioural competency, interpersonal competency and personal
responsibility.
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The intervention strategically gained support and input from managers,
supervisors, peers and subordinates (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). As a result of
focussing on these behaviours and seeing significant improvement in behavioural
competency and interpersonal competency, as reported from aggregate referent
others, significant improvement of managers job satisfaction levels, specifically
with work itself, supervision, and co-workers, was reported. This result implies that
there can be a significant role for organisation-wide involvement within an executive
coaching intervention in order to gain greater environmental support for
psychological affects like job satisfaction. It is anticipated that the need for further
understanding on what other areas of focus executive coaching could have in order to
see an association with increased job satisfaction will be addressed by this research.
It is expected that executive coaching, while contributing more to some facets
of job satisfaction than to others, will add to an employees overall job satisfaction,
although more research needs to be conducted in this area (Arvey, Bouchard, Segal,
& Abraham, 1989). According to Hall et al.s (1999) research, one of the four key
outcomes of executive coaching is an improved attitude perspective, giving greater
patience in difficult situations. Other influences of change in attitude perspective
involve increased confidence, where previously there were elements of insecurity, as
well as a wider use of available behaviours previously lacking (Hall et al., 1999).
Hence the capacity of executive coaching to influence change in individuals
emotional states, develop a broader range of behaviours to enhance leadership, and
increase confidence and patience would appear to support a strong association
between executive coaching and job satisfaction (Hall et al., 1999; Locke, 1976).
Having investigated the relationship between job satisfaction and executive
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43

coaching, the discussion will now focus on the relationship between the two
variables of job satisfaction and empowerment that will be tested in this research.
Job satisfaction and psychological empowerment

The third research question (If psychological empowerment increases in a
leader through executive coaching, does this directly relate to increases in their job
satisfaction and affective commitment?) in this thesis necessitates an examination of
the literature to investigate any correlation between psychological empowerment and
job satisfaction. If it is discovered that these two variables both have a significant
relationship with each other and with executive coaching, then this will provide
further information on more specific applications for which executive coaching is
best suited. As mentioned above, it is expected that executive coaching will reveal a
significant positive association with psychological empowerment within leaders and
with job satisfaction. Therefore the focus now will be on the relationship these two
variables have with one another.
Preiss and Molina-Ray (2007) discuss a link between job satisfaction and
empowerment showing how a participative management style links to psychological
empowerment within team members which has a positive association with job
satisfaction. Seibert et al. (2004) conducted research within a department of a
Fortune 100 company and, with an 80% response rate, received 301 questionnaire
responses. The department was organised into 50 design teams in order to develop a
new suite of products. Each team was in place for at least one year and they met
weekly for ongoing team discussions (Seibert et al., 2004). The questionnaires used
in this study were designed to measure the perceptions of empowerment climate,
psychological empowerment and job satisfaction (Seibert et al., 2004).
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Seibert et al.s (2004) study resulted in exploring the work-unit relationship
of the empowerment climate and the individual relationship of psychological
empowerment showing that together they influence work-unit performance
outcomes. The study showed that in order for an organisation to foster psychological
empowerment within their employees they need to consider the influence of
empowerment climate (Seibert et al., 2004). They showed that work-unit
empowerment climate is positively related to work performance outcomes (Seibert et
al., 2004). Their research also demonstrated that psychological empowerment
mediates the effects of empowerment climate on job satisfaction.
This has implications on organisations that desire to create psychologically
empowered staff and heighten job satisfaction levels. If it can be shown that
executive coaching is a viable leadership development tool to improve psychological
empowerment, then another important factor for future research in executive
coaching would be to explore its effectiveness in influencing psychological climate.
Its use in influencing psychological climate could potentially create greater impact in
psychological empowerment levels of staff and it could also contribute to increasing
job satisfaction levels.
Furthermore, Seibert et al.s (2004) findings on the influence of
psychological climate upon psychological empowerment reveal corresponding
concepts mentioned by Conger and Kanungo (1988) referred to in the earlier section
under antecedents of empowerment. Conger and Kanungo (1988) state how
organisational contextual considerations are important for creating successful
psychological empowerment outcomes. The added advantage of Seibert et al.s
(2004) study is that it not only contributes to our understanding of how to increase
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the effectiveness levels of psychological empowerment, but it also reveals how this
improves levels of job satisfaction.
It is expected that a contribution will be made to the current research
literature on the relationship between the variables of psychological empowerment
and job satisfaction from this research project. This research will investigate these
two variables in relation to both leaders and their team members. This should reveal
different aspects of how executive coaching will influence these two variables.
Based upon the above review of the relationship between psychological
empowerment and job satisfaction hypothesis four will now be presented. Please
note that hypothesis four also incorporates the relationship between psychological
empowerment and affective commitment, which will be discussed next. Also,
hypothesis one is (introduced on page 54) strongly linked to hypothesis four, for it
encompasses the relationship between executive coaching and all three psychological
variables of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment
(a full list of hypotheses is presented on page 73). Therefore it will be presented in
the review after discussing all three psychological variables.
H4: After executive coaching, leaders would show greater positive affect in
psychological empowerment, as it increased so too would job
satisfaction and affective commitment.
Affective commitment
Importance of affective commitment

The psychological affect of organisational commitment has been researched
extensively and is considered to be an important indicator of how much an employee
will endeavour to contribute positively to their place of work (Allen & Meyer, 1996;
Lok & Crawford, 2001; Tansky & Cohen, 2001). Allen and Meyers (1996) research
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developed a three faceted construct of organisational commitment (defined further in
the following section). One of the facets of organisational commitment they have
developed which is a focus in this research is affective commitment (Allen & Meyer,
1996). Affective commitment is considered to be important because it is an indicator
of the level of personal connection that an employee has between themselves and
their organisation (Allen & Meyer, 1996). An increase in personal connection with
ones place of work is important because higher levels of affective commitment
within employees have demonstrated to be predictors that employees are less likely
to voluntarily leave (Allen & Meyer, 1996). The more that organisations understand
affective commitment and what impedes or promotes affective commitment, the
more likely they are to increase employee effectiveness and overall organisational
improvements (Allen & Meyer, 1996).
Studies also show that employees with perceptions of low job security are
more likely to report lower levels of affective commitment and demonstrate work
withdrawal behaviour (Buitendach & De Witte, 2005). These results have flow on
effects to higher employee turnover, decreased safety motivation and resistance to
compliance, which leads to higher levels of workplace injuries and accidents, lower
organisational viability and reduced sense of well-being (Buitendach & De Witte,
2005).
It therefore follows that affective commitment is an important psychological
affect that needs to be both understood thoroughly by organisations and positively
influenced through strategic HR efforts and through utilising intervention strategies
such as executive coaching. It is also important to understand that organisational
commitment is made up of different facets which have varying degrees of influence
upon outcomes such as turnover (Allen & Meyer, 1996). For this reason Meyer and
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Allen (1991) caution organisations of the need to understand the nature of the
commitment they are seeking to instil in order to keep their employees. Further
discussion will now take place examining the organisational commitment facet of
affective commitment.
Affective commitment defined

Allen and Meyer (1996) discuss the construct of organisational commitment
by dividing it into three separate facets. The first facet of organisational
commitment, affective commitment, refers to the emotional attachment a person has
with their organisation. Employees with strong affective commitment continue at
their place of work because they want to. The second facet, continuance
commitment, represents an employees choice to stay because the cost of leaving is
perceived as too high (Allen & Meyer, 1996). Finally the third facet, normative
commitment, refers to the sense of obligation the employee feels to the organisation
because of what they perceive they have been given by the organisation (Allen &
Meyer, 1996; Meyer et al., 1993).
Although all three facets of organisational commitment are valid areas for
research, because the focus of this research is on some of the psychological affects
brought about through executive coaching, it was decided to narrow the
organisational commitment area of this research by focusing on the clearly more
organisationally desirable facet of affective commitment. Furthermore, another key
reason for focusing on affective commitment is that it has been hypothesized by
Meyer et al. (1993) to be a more intrinsic higher quality commitment than
continuance commitment and normative commitment, bringing a more sustainable
motivation for organisational retention. For example, Meyer et al. (1993)
hypothesise that, in contrast to affective commitment, normative commitment will
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disperse as soon as the employee feels their obligation to the organisation has been
met.
Allen and Meyer (1996) define affective commitment by stating that it looks
at the effect of three separate elements: identification with, involvement in, and
emotional attachment to the organisation in which they work. The higher these three
elements are present within the employee, the stronger will be the intrinsic desire for
the employee to want to remain and contribute to the organisation (Allen & Meyer,
1996). It is this specific facet that is under examination to see whether executive
coaching can positively alter the affective levels within the leader being coached. In
order to accurately measure affective commitment within the leaders being coached
in this research project, Meyer et al.s (1993) affective commitment measures will be
used, for it has been developed and tested extensively.
Allen and Meyer (1996) developed measures for all three of these
organisational commitment facets which have now become a standard for research in
organisational commitment (Baron & Morin, 2009; Buitendach & De Witte, 2005).
Allen and Meyer (1996) examined the validity of these measures through
investigating the considerable body of accumulated research that had been conducted
using their organisational commitment measures (Meyer et al., 1993). After the
measures were put through a battery of tests they showed evidence for discriminant
validity between other attitude measures of similar psychological affect, as well as
internal reliability (Meyer et al., 1993). These tests give substantive evidence to
support the decision of using their measure for affective commitment in this
research. Having established a working definition of the measure of affective
commitment for this research project, a discussion on some of the relational aspects
between executive coaching and affective commitment will now be undertaken.
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Relationship between executive coaching and affective commitment

Tansky and Cohen (2001) stated in 2001 that although there has been
research conducted on organisational commitment and coaching, there has been very
little research conducted on the relationship between them. Currently, there is still a
gap in this area of the research which needs further investigation. This research
therefore intends to contribute to the literature in this area.
It is expected that an examination of the literature will affirm that executive
coaching alters the affective commitment levels of leaders being coached in a
positive direction. It has already been shown to positively alter leaders attitudes and
affective states in other studies (Finn, 2007; Moen & Allgood, 2009). Some of the
conceptual grounds for expecting executive coaching to cause an increase in this area
can be extracted from studies that focus on behaviour change such as Giglio et al.
(1998), Smither et al. (2003), Bluckert (2005), Finn et al. (2007) and Moen and
Allgood (2009) which all discuss psychological change in leaders being coached.
Further, it seems most plausible that executive coaching will positively affect
the affective commitment of leaders because two of the antecedents of affective
commitment are making an employee feel psychologically comfortable and
increasing their sense of competence (Allen & Meyer, 1996). The concepts of these
two antecedents, although not necessarily labelled as such, are discussed in the
executive coaching literature (Giglio et al., 1998; Sherin & Caiger, 2004). However,
Dingmans (2004) research in working with 150 executives being coached
contradicts this expected outcome with results that showed no significant relationship
between executive coaching and affective commitment.
This result caused her to re-examine the initial definition of executive
coaching which, according to Kilburg (1996), is about improving the professional
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performance and personal satisfaction of the executive (Dingman, 2004). Thus
Dingmans (2004) conclusion is that executive coaching is essentially individually
focused and therefore appears not to address the relationship an executive has with
their organisation. She further adds that executive coaching may not be a plausible
solution for organisations wanting their executives to increase in affective
commitment levels.
An alternative interpretation of these results to the hypothesis proposed by
Dingman (2004) concerns the focus executive coaching has when being
implemented. Since executive coaching is a versatile leadership intervention
strategy, it can potentially be used to focus on any number of key areas like affective
commitment (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). Dingmans (2004) research contributes to
our understanding of executive coaching not increasing affective commitment levels
as an indirect result of executive coaching. However, until further research is
conducted, we cannot be sure what effects executive coaching may have as a direct
result of focussing on specific psychological affects like affective commitment.
Luthans and Petersons (2003) research indicates that if executive coaching
focused on increasing managerial self-regulatory behaviour involving behavioural
competence, interpersonal competence and personal responsibility, then it not only
brought increased job satisfaction (as discussed above) but it brought increased
organisational commitment levels in managers being coached. Although Luthans
and Petersons (2003) study used a different organisational commitment measure
than this research project (Mowday, Porter, & Steers, 1982) (which means their
study did not focus on the facet of affective commitment), the initial indications from
their study reveal that executive coaching has a positive association with the facet of
affective commitment.
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This is stated because one of the antecedents of affective commitment
according to Allen and Meyer (1996) is increasing an employees sense of
competency, which corresponds with Tansky and Cohens (2001) research
demonstrating that employee development, involving a sense of increased
competency, is significantly and positively related to organisational commitment. It
therefore follows, since the executive coaching in this study will be focussing on
increasing coaching competencies within leaders, that it will increase their sense of
competency which is significantly related to affective commitment according to
Allen and Meyer (1996).
Furthermore, Tansky and Cohen (2001) conducted research with 262
managers and supervisors in a major metropolitan hospital in the United States.
Their study corresponds with this research project in that the sample group of leaders
were trained in how to coach other employees (although it was through eight
workshops rather than coaching). Their findings resulted in self-efficacy of
coaching skills being positively related to perceived organizational support and
perceived organizational support being positively related to organizational
commitment (Tansky & Cohen, 2001). Tansky and Cohens (2001) study also found
that when organisations endeavoured to develop their managers (employees), and
those managers perceived it as genuine support, they became more committed to the
organisation.
These results have important implications for the relationship between
executive coaching and affective commitment because how appropriately the
executive coaching is introduced and implemented will alter the perception of how
genuinely it is viewed as a supportive intervention. This places responsibility on
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both the organisation and the coach/es in both the introduction of the coaching
process and also in the continuing coaching experience.
Affective commitment and empowerment

In order to assist further in the investigation of the third research question (If
psychological empowerment increases in a leader through executive coaching, does
this directly relate to increases in their job satisfaction and affective commitment?)
in this thesis, this discussion will now focus on the relationship between the variables
of psychological empowerment and affective commitment. As mentioned above one
key antecedent of affective commitment is an increased sense of competence (Allen
& Meyer, 1996). This is also a key facet in both the variables of leader-empowering
behaviours and psychological empowerment being examined in this research
(Konczak et al., 2000; Spreitzer, 1992). It therefore appears reasonable to predict
that if both psychological empowerment and leader-empowering behaviours reveal a
significant result from executive coaching then higher levels of affective
commitment will also be detected.
Further, Tansky and Cohens (2001) coaching research, which highlighted an
increase in self-efficacy levels of coaching within managers, also found higher levels
of organisational commitment within managers. According to Conger and Kanungo
(1988) and Thomas and Velthouse (1990) self-efficacy and empowerment are
strongly interrelated. These results, therefore, indicate a positive relationship
between organisational commitment (although not particularly affective
commitment) and empowerment (Tansky & Cohen, 2001). It is therefore expected
that similar results will occur in this research with an increase in the affective
commitment levels in leaders.
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53

Based upon the above review of the relationship between psychological
empowerment and affective commitment it is hypothesised:
H4: After executive coaching, leaders would show greater positive affect in
psychological empowerment, as it increased so too would job
satisfaction and affective commitment.
Furthermore, having discussed the literature on the relationship between
executive coaching and the three psychological variables of psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment, the following hypothesis
is proposed.
H1: After executive coaching, leaders would show greater positive affect in
psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment.
Executive coaching and behaviour change
To resolve the behavioural element within the second research question (Is
executive coaching with a leader associated with an increase in their leader-
empowering behaviours?) it necessitates an examination of the literature
concerning the relationship between executive coaching and leaders behaviours.
Smither et al. (2003) state that little attention has been given to the effects of
executive coaching on executive behaviour change. Natale and Diamante (2005)
give some anecdotal experiences with which the practice of executive coaching has
become associated and list a number of benefits. Some of the benefits they mention
are clearly within the realm of behaviour: transformation of individuals, a new level
of personal mastery, higher level of openness, avoiding defensive behaviour, creating
powerful effective relationships, and the ability to move onto greater more complex
responsibilities (Natale & Diamante, 2005).
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Fortunately, as more research is starting to be conducted in executive
coaching and more empirical results are emerging there is less of a need to rely
entirely upon anecdotal evidence (Baron & Morin, 2009; Finn, 2007; Pennington,
2009). Finn, Mason and Bradley (2007) conducted research within a large public
sector organisation (1900 employees) implementing a year-long transformational
leadership training program where they offered executive coaching as an option after
training. After the training a total of 23 senior executives utilised the offer to be
coached with 21 (14 males & 7 females ranging in age from 29 years to 55 years)
leaders completing the program (Finn et al., 2007). The 23 leaders were randomly
allocated into two groups with 11 commencing executive coaching immediately after
training. The remaining 12 became a control group in order to differentiate any
effects from executive coaching between both groups (Finn et al., 2007). Finn et al.
(2007) found that executive coaching did cause a significant effect upon leaders
transformational leadership behaviours as observed by external observers (Finn et al.,
2007).
Smither et al. (2003) conducted a quasi-experimental pre-post control group
study where they measured the effects of executive coaching by comparing the pre
and post results of multi-source feedback ratings after one year. After receiving
multi-source feedback from 1 361 senior managers, 404 (29.7%) worked with an
executive coach and 286 of the 404 managers responded to an online questionnaire
which gathered their reactions to the coaching experience (Smither et al., 2003). The
results showed that leaders behaviours did change in that they would set specific
goals for improvement related directly to the multi-source feedback analysis
(Smither et al., 2003).
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However, Smither et al.s (2003) research did show that, although specific
goals were set, goal-setting bore no real statistically significant relationship to
improving the multi-source ratings. Overall, although executive coaching did
produce a change in leadership behaviour and improve multi-source ratings
compared to those who were not coached, it was quite a small effect (Smither et al.,
2003). It is highly likely, as Smither et al. (2003) suggest, that the generalisability of
the study is limited due to the multi-source feedback results being given to the
supervisors, who could use the information to manage performance, promoting
and/or rewarding participants accordingly. This amount of accountability would
likely motivate change within the leaders of both the control and sample groups,
diminishing any executive coaching effect.
Smither et al. (2003) also suggest that for significant behaviour change to
take place there would need to be more coaching sessions experienced than was the
case in this study. The small number of coaching sessions, around three to four, was
experienced by 55% of leaders, the remaining leaders receiving 2 sessions or less. It
is therefore desirable to see what results would occur if there were more sessions
conducted giving greater time to implement behaviour change (Smither et al., 2003).
Hence this research project is looking to contribute to the literature in this area
through the sample group committing to a coaching program that has a
predetermined number of six coaching sessions.
Wasylyshyns (2003) research focused specifically on executives whom she
had coached between 1985 and 2001. The majority of the executives who were
coached desired effective behaviour changes in order to continue in their career
success. The specific percentage breakdown of the sample group for their desired
behaviour changes was: 56% personal behaviour change, 43% enhancing leader
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effectiveness, 40% fostering stronger relationships, 17% personal development, and
7% better work-family integration. Wasylyshyns (2003) qualitative approach to her
research did not address whether or not her sample group achieved their desired
outcomes. Instead, the focus was on what the sample group perceived to be
successful elements within the executive coaching experience. Thus, one of
Wasylyshyns (2003) contributions to the literature is to give insight into some of the
elements that executives considered contributed to their sustained behaviour change.
The key coaching tools, according to leaders in her research, which
contribute to their perceptions as to what makes an effective coaching intervention
are: the coaching sessions themselves, 360 feedback, and the coaching relationship
itself (Wasylyshyn, 2003). According to Wasylyshyn (2003) the three most
important indicators for measuring whether a coaching intervention was successful
or not are sustained behaviour change, an increase in self-awareness, and more
effective leadership. Wasylyshyn (2003) also speaks of the need to successfully
manage the perceptions of the key stakeholders who work with the leader in order to
gain the support needed for sustained behavioural change (Goldsmith, 2004;
Wasylyshyn, 2003). It seems that this aspect of involving senior management and
key stakeholders is a key component in seeing successful behaviour change
interventions (Luthans & Peterson, 2003; Thach, 2002; Wasylyshyn, 2003).
Luthans and Petersons (2003) research gives empirical evidence of
executive coaching improving leadership behaviours. Their executive coaching
research specifically targeted the individual managers looking to improve their
managerial behaviours (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). They found that there was a
significant increase in behavioural competencies as reported by managers,
supervisors, peers and subordinates (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). An important
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correlation between Luthans and Petersons (2003) findings for this research project
was that the change in behaviour through executive coaching also brought significant
increases in job satisfaction and affective commitment. It is therefore expected that
similar positive leadership behaviour changes from coaching in this research will
also see increases in job satisfaction and affective commitment.
Thach (2002) revealed that executive coaching combined with 360 degree
feedback is a powerful combination for leadership change. In Thachs (2002) study
she worked with 281 executives in a mid-sized global telecommunications firm to
improve their leadership effectiveness as observed by those with whom they worked.
In order for each executive to participate in the executive coaching, they needed to
qualify by holding a position of vice-president or director or be identified as a high
potential manager (Thach, 2002). They were required to have worked in their
current position for at least 6 months and to be a volunteer participant for executive
coaching (Thach, 2002). Thach (2002) with the assistance of an external consultant
worked with the CEO and top executive team to develop a 360 degree assessment
which would enable strategic leadership improvement in the areas the firm required.
In developing each leader the firm sought two goals: to increase the
leadership effectiveness of those coached, measured through a pre and post 360
degree assessment, and to double the amount of leaders immediately ready for
promotion into the top 60 strategic positions in the firm (Thach, 2002). Both the
executive coaching and the 360 degree feedback were a part of an executive
development system linked to other human resource initiatives. After an executive
finished a 360 degree feedback session with a coach a personal development plan
was established which enabled them to incorporate some of the other HR
developmental options such as external education programs (Thach, 2002).
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Thachs (2002) research revealed some important results about the change
that took place with leaders as perceived by key stakeholders (direct reports, peers
and managers). First, the total perception percentage score by the key stakeholders
regarding leadership improvement was a higher percentage than the total self-report
score (Thach, 2002). This revealed the importance of managing the perceptions of
key stakeholders in the whole process by having regular discussions with them about
their progress and having complete support in participating in the executive coaching
process by the CEO and senior level managers (Thach, 2002). Second, alignment of
the executive coaching with the 360 degree feedback and the firms strategic goals
was also an important factor in measuring the effectiveness of successful leadership
behaviour change (Thach, 2002). Third, the study also showed a correlation between
frequent and consistent coaching sessions and an increase in leadership effectiveness,
which is important when looking at other executive coaching research with only a
small number of coaching sessions (Thach, 2002).
There are important elements in Thachs (2002) research that relate to the
executive coaching intervention in this research project. Firstly, the coaching
intervention was aligned with the strategic plans of the organisation having the full
support of upper senior leadership. Previous research has demonstrated the increased
likelihood for success with interventions through organisational alignment and
support (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). Secondly, the executive coaching organisation
in this research project utilised the services of a researcher to create a validated and
reliable 360 degree assessment tool to measure coaching effectiveness. Although the
tool was not designed specifically for this intervention, it was specifically designed
for the coaching organisation to assess effective transmission of coaching
competencies from their training.
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In contrast to Thachs (2002) early use of the 360 degree assessment in her
intervention, the 360 degree assessment in this project was introduced six weeks
before completion. The reason for this is it measured coaching competencies, and
participants were not yet trained or proficient in coaching competencies. Further
there was a need for CITs to coach others first in order to have others to assist in
completing the assessment. Furthermore, similar to Thachs (2002) use of the
instrument, it was deployed as a means to create a personal development plan. The
plan in this case was for further future growth after the intervention had finished.
Finally, Thachs (2002) research discusses the importance of frequent and consistent
coaching sessions being related to increased leadership effectiveness. Hence, the
executive coaching intervention in this project operates over a nine month period
with regular sessions for each participant in order to increase coaching competencies.
Wales (2003) conducted a qualitative study identifying the key components
of effective coaching. She worked with a group of 15 managers in a major clearing
bank in the UK. The bank had just restructured into 5 separate businesses and one of
the departments wanted to refocus their area to better handle the changes and
accomplish business targets. Specifically, the overall vision was to transform a less
centralised command and control hierarchy of leadership into one of consultation
and a more flattened structure (Wales, 2003, pp. 275,276).
Each manager received fortnightly coaching (26 sessions) for at least one
year before the research was conducted (Wales, 2003). A self-report questionnaire
was sent to each manager and, of particular interest for this study, one area focused
on how behaviours were impacted by the coaching. Wales (2003) describes a causal
chain of events starting with an increase in the managers self-awareness, which led
to a deeper understanding of how their feelings affected them, then to insight into
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how feelings might affect their motivation, and finally to a revelation of how
motivation affected their behaviour. The end result was that the causal effect led to
noticeable behaviour change which impacted upon those they led, ultimately
increasing their success as leaders (Wales, 2003).
Natale and Diamante (2005) discuss an effective coaching technique in order
to bring desired behaviour change through producing a cue-based action plan.
This enables the executive to be aware of triggers that will require them to respond,
rather than react, to situations to bring about better outcomes. As executives are on
the lookout for these cues, which their coaches have helped to identify, it allows
them to re-interpret situations instead of emotively reacting. This in turn enables
them to reason above their emotions and to choose to behave differently (Natale &
Diamante, 2005). As this is practiced consistently over time a new habit is formed
and a new skill is developed (Natale & Diamante, 2005). The end goal as Natale and
Diamante (2005) state it is, to enable the executive to reshape self so that with
this newly learned, adaptive competency, the executive can achieve congruity with
business demands (p. 367). Wales (2003), in speaking about behaviour-change,
concurs with this concept in the need for the coach to be competent in understanding
the causal connections between feelings, motivations, and behaviours in order to be
effective.
Kombarakaran, Yang, Baker and Fernandes (2008) research highlights how
executive coaching contributes to an improvement for executives in goal-setting and
prioritisation. They used a quantitative and qualitative methodology to investigate a
six-month executive coaching intervention with 42 experienced coaches and 114
executives. The intervention was designed to enable executives to adjust to their
new leadership roles and responsibilities shortly after a significant acquisition. The
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intervention endeavoured to increase people effectiveness skills, facilitate stronger
functional relationships between the executive and those in their sphere of influence
and instill coaching competencies within them to coach others.
After receiving 12 sessions, executives reported improved prioritisation of
their work, and an increased ability to define performance goals, and business
objectives with direct reports. Leaders also acquired the ability to concentrate their
goals and priorities on key areas. In turn, this further enhanced teamwork,
participation, and commitment. Improved planning and goal-setting also contributed
to greater confidence and increased effective management. Additionally, a principal
component analysis was conducted on the executives survey results which
highlighted, among other outcomes, improved goal setting and prioritization.
Latham and Ernst (2006) conducted a historical literature review on key
motivational factors for employees. One of the key points they make is that goal-
setting is a powerful motivational technique for leaders. Furthermore, research on
the relationship between executive coaching and goal-setting is revealing a
significant correlation between these two areas (Grant et al., 2010). It is therefore
expected that this research project will confirm further the significance of this
relationship.
Hall et al. (1999) conducted a study interviewing 75 randomly identified
executives from Fortune 100 companies (for example, Motorola and Levi-Strauss)
who had received coaching. Their study also involved 15 executive coaches who
were recommended as being at the top of their field. Although Hall et al.s (1999)
research lacked significant rigor through using some anecdotal evidence, they
identified one of the outcome items of executive coaching was that of wider
repertoire of available behaviours for the executive.
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The literature on executive coaching features a recurring theme of positive
behaviour change being an expected outcome from executive coaching (Bluckert,
2005; Hall et al., 1999; Kilburg, 1996). Other themes that emerged regarding
behaviour change were the need to have senior management support the intervention
(Luthans & Peterson, 2003), the involvement of key stakeholders (Kilburg, 1996),
the use of 360 degree feedback (Smither et al., 2003), the number of coaching
sessions held and the alignment of interventions with organisational strategy
(Luthans & Peterson, 2003; Smither et al., 2003; Thach, 2002; Wasylyshyn, 2003).
Since a key area for this current research project is to examine the impact of
executive coaching upon leader-empowering behaviours that contribute to
psychological empowerment within team members, this relationship will now be
examined. In order to explore the fourth research question in this research project
(Does executive coaching with leaders produce a flow on effect to others,
specifically, increased psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective
commitment?), attention will also be given to any leadership flow on effect being
transmitted to team members.
Leadership behaviour change and staff psychological empowerment

In Spreitzers (1992) research on psychological empowerment it was shown
that both personality and work context were variables which influenced the outcome
variable of psychological empowerment; however Konczak et al. (2000) want to add
that leader behaviours are an additional class of variables that should influence
outcomes through their affect upon psychological empowerment. Konczak et al.
(2000) point out that one cannot underestimate the influence a direct managers
behaviour has upon their team members sense of empowerment. Therefore this
research project will investigate the effect of executive coaching upon leaders to see
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if, after coaching, they exhibit improved leader-empowering behaviours which have
been shown to contribute to team member psychological empowerment (Konczak et
al., 2000).
Research shows that one important factor in leaders empowering their team
members is to employ an empowering management style (Arnold et al., 2000; Klidas
et al., 2007). Managers willing to empower employees encourage them to make their
own decisions, trust them, praise them when they succeed and forgive when they fail,
using the failure as a means to coach them into a better future outcome (Klidas et al.,
2007). Klidas et al. (2007) conducted experimental research with 356 frontline hotel
employees in a large US international company. The data was collected from 16
luxury hotels located in seven European countries. Their research used a
questionnaire measuring four widely accepted antecedents of empowered employees
(Klidas et al., 2007). These leader behaviour antecedents are training, reward
practices, organisational culture perceptions and management style. Of the four
antecedents investigated, only organisational culture perceptions and management
style showed significant effect on empowerment of team members (Klidas et al.,
2007). The key outcome then in Klidas et al.s (2007) research is that for effective
employee empowerment there must be, for many managers, a paradigm shift away
from trying to control employees during service delivery to releasing them to make
frontline decisions.
Bordin et al. (2007) present further antecedents that contribute to effective
leadership influence upon team members being empowered. One in particular is
supervisory social support which involves a variety of behaviours where a manager
demonstrates consideration, acceptance and concern for the needs and feelings of
team members (Bordin et al., 2007). Spreitzer (1996) declares from her research that
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team members who perceive that they have high levels of socio-political support
from their immediate supervisor report higher levels of empowerment than team
members who perceive low levels of support. This type of support increases a sense
of personal power in the two psychological empowerment facets of self-
determination and impact (Spreitzer, 1996).
Bordin (2007) contributes further to the importance of supervisory social
support explaining how effective leadership delivers a sense of competence another
of the four facets of psychological empowerment (Spreitzer, 1992). He adds that
leaders who truthfully persuade team members verbally of their latent capacities to
achieve tasks are more likely to empower them to accomplish greater sustained effort
while focusing on team member deficiencies de-energises desired task behaviour
(Bordin et al., 2007). Furthermore, Menon (1995), whose major study designed a
reliable and valid measure of psychological empowerment, administered the
questionnaire to 162 employees in a financial services company receiving 66
responses. He found that psychological empowerment was significantly and
positively correlated with the immediate supervisors behaviours of delegating and
consulting, leading to greater perceived control by the team member (Menon, 1999).
Having investigated the literature on how leadership significantly affects
team members empowerment, it can be noted that the behaviour of the leader has a
significant impact. Leaders contribute to, or detract from, an empowering climate
and, more importantly, exercise considerable power over the psychological
empowerment experience of their team members (Seibert et al., 2004). Further, there
are specific behaviours that a leader needs to consistently exhibit when working with
team members in order to empower them.

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Behaviours of note are:
1. exercising appropriate forms of control
2. encouraging autonomy in team members in making their own decisions
3. increasing competency through training staff
4. exercising reward practices that fit with organisational strategy
5. managing the organisational culture perceptions with team members
6. supervisory social support
(Klidas et al., 2007; Konczak et al., 2000; Menon, 1999).
Recognising the importance in the relationship between leadership behaviour
and psychological empowerment in team members is one of the reasons why this
research will measure for this variable. A discussion on the measurement used in
this research for leader-empowering behaviours will now be conducted.
Measurement for leadership empowerment behaviours

Konczak et al.s (2000) research on leader-empowering behaviours pointed
out that although Spreitzer (1995b) had developed a measure for psychological
empowerment, the relationship between leader behaviour and the experience of team
member psychological empowerment had not been thoroughly investigated
(Konczak et al., 2000). They therefore investigated this further in order to create an
instrument to reliably measure leader-empowering behaviours that would directly
affect team members psychological empowerment (Konczak et al., 2000).
Konczak et al.s (2000) study focused on leadership behaviour as one key
antecedent for psychological empowerment. Their study was conducted within a
fortune 500 consumer products company which was implementing a leadership
training program (Konczak et al., 2000). Konczak et al. (2000) designed and tested a
six dimension leader-empowering behaviour questionnaire (LEBQ) on an
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independent sample of team members (N = 988). The result revealed an alpha
reliability coefficient within the statistically acceptable range (0.82 to 0.90)
(Konczak et al., 2000). Their study concluded that the LEBQ was a sound
psychometric instrument to provide managers with feedback on empowering
leadership behaviour (Konczak et al., 2000). Furthermore, their study showed that if
a manager exhibits leader-empowering behaviours toward their staff, then it will
influence psychological empowerment in a positive manner (Konczak et al., 2000).
Konczak et al. (2000) questionnaire consists of the following six components:
1. Delegation of authority
2. Accountability of outcomes that can be influenced by the team member
3. Self-directed decision-making
4. Information and knowledge sharing for optimal input of team members
5. Skill development, for competency development
6. Coaching for innovative performance (p. 307).
Konczak et al.s (2000) analysis of the data showed that there were moderate to large
correlations in all the LEBQ scales and the four faceted measure of psychological
empowerment (Konczak et al., 2000). This shows that leader-empowering
behaviours are positively related to the psychological empowerment experiences of
team members (Konczak et al., 2000).
When one compares the six leader-empowering behaviour measures above
with Spreitzers (1992) four dimension measurement for psychological
empowerment, a logical correlation between increased psychological empowerment
within team members and leaders who practice these behaviours is revealed.
Konczak et al.s (2000) Self-directed decision-making matches well with
Spreitzers (1992) Self-determination measure which is about giving people the
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sense of power to determine direction within their work. The behaviour of
information sharing in order to enable team members to contribute to the
organisations strategy corresponds well with the meaning dimension of
psychological empowerment. The skill development for competency matches well
with the psychological empowerment dimension of employees feelings of increased
competency. There are other more subtle comparisons that could be made but
these few comparisons show the tight connections between the two constructs.
Based on this discussion of the literature, the instrument chosen to measure
leader-empowering behaviours for this research project is that of Konczak et al.
(2000). One key reason for this is the way it ties in with Spreitzers (1992) construct
of psychological empowerment, which is a major variable that this research is
examining. Konczak et al. (2000) research has strong implications for executive
coaching in that definitive empowering behaviours can be measured and assessed.
This means that executive coaches working with managers who desire to empower
their team members can operate within a clear directive framework, setting goals
based on research with the best chance for psychological empowerment to result in
their team members. Of course the variables of workplace context and team member
personality would still need to be taken into consideration because of the potential
negative effect they can have upon team members psychological empowerment
(Spreitzer, 1992).
Executive coaching and empowerment behaviours

The discussion will now focus on leadership behavioural changes from
executive coaching which correspond to Konczak et al.s (2000) construct of leader-
empowering behaviours (LEB). Konczak et al.s (2000) six LEB discussed above
are behaviours that can be seen in some of the executive coaching literature as a
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direct result of executive coaching (Hall et al., 1999). Hall et al. (1999) listed a
number of executive coaching outcome examples that matched Konczak et al.s
(2000) LEB. For example, executives did more mentoring allowing the team
member to make their own mistakes in a learning process for better performance.
This corresponds well with one of Konsczak et al. (2000) LEB, that of coaching for
innovative performance.
Hall et al. (1999) also pointed out how staff learned to solve their own
problems, which corresponds with the behaviour of self-directed decision-making
(Konczak et al., 2000). Another of Hall et al.s (1999) behaviours mentioned as a
result of executive coaching is to know how to identify and act on developmental
needs for self and subordinates. This matches with Konczak et al.s (2000)
empowering behaviour of managers creating opportunities for skill development of
their staff. The outcomes listed by Hall et al. (1999) demonstrate a significant
theoretical correlation between LEB and executive coaching outcomes.
Wales (2003) phenomenological research approach, with 15 managers being
coached over a one-year period, revealed that executive coaching brought an increase
in the ability to communicate clearly. Wales (2003) clarified the communication
process as enabling managers to understand how to translate their own insights into
greater effectiveness, which translates into improved organisational development
(Wales, 2003). Wales (2003) also showed how coaching enables leaders to better
read their team members and reflect back to them what they see in order to develop
improvements within the team members. These skills are components that are
foundational elements to the leader-empowering behaviour of coaching for
innovative performance in order to ensure high quality results (Kilburg, 1996;
Konczak et al., 2000, p. 307).
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Giglio et al. (1998) report on a coaching assignment where a sales department
suffered morale problems so a coach worked with the leader in a problem
identification process and uncovered a number of issues, one being a lack of
information sharing. Customised questionnaires were designed and, based on the
information collected from both the team and the leader, the coach worked with the
leader and the team to dispel unrealistic expectations and misunderstandings and to
resolve sales strategy disagreements (Giglio et al., 1998).
As a result of the intervention the leader implemented monthly review
meetings where team members were expected to participate and use healthy group
interaction strategies during any conflict that might arise (Giglio et al., 1998). Once
again, here is an example of the leader-empowering behaviour of information
sharing and how coaching helped change the behaviour of the leader. This
intervention was a broader approach with the coach working directly with the team
members as well as with the leader and helping them to all support a structure for
review (Giglio et al., 1998).
Finn et al. (2007) in their research investigated how executive coaching could
be used in conjunction with transformational leadership training. They found that
the four elements inherent within transformational leadership were also found in
outcomes from executive coaching (Finn et al., 2007). Two of these
transformational leadership elements, intellectual stimulation and individualised
consideration, both relate to Konczaks (2000) LEB (Avolio, Weichun, William, &
Puja, 2004). Avolio et al. (2004) explain the element of intellectual stimulation as
involving leaders enabling team members to develop their own solutions to work
issues, which corresponds to the third component in Konczaks (2000) LEB self-
directed decision-making. The second element, individualised consideration, is
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explained by Avolio et al. (2004) as involving the leader giving their team members
personal attention and support, being able to work with their differences, and
encouraging commitment in them. This corresponds well with the sixth component
of LEB, coaching for innovative performance, which involves the leaders giving
their team members the individualized attention and support they need (Konczak et
al., 2000).
After examining the literature discussing the theoretical relationships between
executive coaching outcomes and leader empowering behaviours, it is expected that
this research will reveal significant correlations between executive coaching
outcomes and leader-empowering behaviours. If the evidence demonstrates
significant correlations, then it will suggest that executive coaching may be a
leadership development tool that enables leaders to increase their leader-empowering
behaviours and produce higher levels of psychological empowerment within
themselves and their team members. Therefore, founded on this discussion, the
following hypotheses are proposed:
H2: After executive coaching, leaders would demonstrate higher self-report
ratings of their leader-empowering behaviours, and as these behaviours
increase, their psychological empowerment levels will increase.
H3: After executive coaching, leaders would demonstrate higher leader-
empowering behaviours as rated by their team member.
Executive coaching and a flow on effect
Luthans and Petersons (2003) research demonstrates that executive coaching
not only increased job satisfaction and organisational commitment levels within
managers being coached, but this translated into changed behaviour of the managers,
which was associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and organisational
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commitment within team members. The managerial self-regulatory behaviours
which were the focus of the executive coaching intervention were rated by team
members as having significantly improved (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). This
influenced improved team member experiences within their place of work affecting
satisfaction with work supervision and co-workers (Luthans & Peterson, 2003).
These results indicate that executive coaching is associated with a positive increase
in work attitudes with managers, creating a flow on effect to their team members.
Furthermore, it seems reasonable to deduce that team members would receive
increased positive psychological affects through the increased quality of supervision
by the leader being coached. Natale and Diamante (2005), for example, speak of
how executive coaching enables leaders to gain a higher level of openness, build
more effective relationships and develop a greater ability to avoid defensive
behaviour, thereby increasing the channels of communication with their team. Most
of these are elements within Bullen and Flamholtzs (1985) job satisfaction model
which contribute to the antecedent of an improved organisational environment.
Therefore it seems likely that executive coaching will contribute to this antecedent
thereby contributing to team members overall job satisfaction levels.
Furthermore if executive coaching, in this research project, is shown to
increase leaders managerial competencies through developing their leader-
empowering behaviours, it is expected to change their management style. It is
proposed that their style would entail a more participatory and inclusive approach,
increasing competency levels in both managers and team members and revealing an
association with higher levels of affective commitment within both managers and
their team members (Conger & Kanungo, 1988; Darden, Hampton, & Howell, 1989;
Konczak et al., 2000; Spreitzer, 1992; Spreitzer et al., 1999). To add further to this
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theoretical construct, Thomas and Velthouses (1990) four-faceted model of
psychological empowerment also includes the facet of feeling more competent.
Therefore one would expect to see leader-empowering behaviours (Konczak et al.,
2000) reveal an association with feelings of empowerment within team members
(Conger & Kanungo, 1988; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990).
Based upon the above discussion on the flow on effect the following
hypothesis is proposed:
H5: After executive coaching, leaders working with their team members
would see a greater positive affect in their team members psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment.
In summary, the hypotheses presented throughout this literature review, in
order to assist in answering the research questions, are now listed below.
Hypotheses
H1: After executive coaching, leaders would show greater positive affect in
psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment.
H2: After executive coaching, leaders would demonstrate higher self-report
ratings of their leader-empowering behaviours, and as these behaviours
increase, their psychological empowerment levels will increase.
H3: After executive coaching, leaders would demonstrate higher leader-
empowering behaviours as rated by their team member.
H4: After executive coaching, leaders would show greater positive affect in
psychological empowerment, as it increased so too would job
satisfaction and affective commitment.
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H5: After executive coaching, leaders working with their team members
would see a greater positive affect in their team members psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment.
Research model

The research model will now be presented (Diagram 2.1). The research
model below depicts the proposed associated relationships of the key variables under
investigation. This research project entails both a quantitative and a qualitative
study. The solid lines within the model represent the associations being examined
within the quantitative study. The segmented line represents the qualitative study at
the midway point of the executive coaching intervention.
The quantitative section of this model will now be discussed. In order to
portray the hypotheses presented, the research model illustrates how leaders, after
having received executive coaching, will be positively affected in their leader-
empowering behaviours. It further represents how, after leaders have been coached,
they will experience an increase in the three psychological affects of psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and effective commitment.
A further proposed positive association between leader-empowering
behaviours and psychological empowerment is also represented. It is also expected
that there will be a positive association between psychological empowerment and the
two variables of job satisfaction and affective commitment. The final aspect of the
quantitative section of the model depicts a flow on effect from the proposed
increases in leaders behavioural and psychological affects as a result of being
coached.
The qualitative section of the research model illustrates the semi structured
interviews that will be conducted at the midway point in the executive coaching
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intervention. It is proposed that this aspect of the research will reveal rich data on
the relationship between executive coaching and psychological empowerment,
further informing the first hypothesis. It is also expected that this aspect of the
research will contribute to theory on the developmental nature of psychological
empowerment from executive coaching.











Figure 2.1 - Research model examining the influence of executive
coaching upon behavioural and psychological measures

The next chapter will delineate both the quantitative and qualitative methods
used in this research in order to answer the presented hypotheses, and explore in
depth the developmental nature of psychological empowerment. It will also explain
the executive coaching program and how it was implemented as an overall long term
leadership development strategy for the whole not-for-profit organisation.

Executive
Coaching of
Leaders
(CITs)

Leader-
empowering
Behaviours of
Leaders (CITs)

Coachees of
Leaders (CITs)

psychological
empowerment,

Job satisfaction
&
Affective
commitment
Exploring the mid-point of the coaching process, investigating
the four facets of psychological empowerment in Leaders (CITs)
Psychological
Empowerment of
Leaders (CITs)
Job Satisfaction &
Affective
Commitment of
Leaders (CITs)

75

Chapter 3 - Method
Research approach
The overall method in this study utilised an action research approach.
According to Abbott (2006) action research is cyclical in nature, and therefore suits
the normal iterative process of a coaching intervention. Action research involves
group members in an organisation looking to positively take action in order to alter
the initial state of the group to a more liberating and self-managing position
(Greenwood & Levin, 1998). Further, it involves a desire for greater knowledge,
effective theories, models, methods and analyses in order to increase understanding
and foster positive movement forward. According to Greenwood and Levin (1998) it
is one of the most powerful ways to generate new research knowledge. Finally, it
involves the participation of the organisation along with the researcher, each one
takes some responsibility for the outcomes by participating in setting up the agenda
and generating new knowledge necessary to transform the situation and finally
implement the results (Greenwood & Levin, 1998). The desire for the organisation
to increase its ability to empower its constituents and work in conjunction with the
external coaches and the researcher, in order to feedback into its own system for
further growth is evidence of this overall approach.
The action research approach in this study combined a quantitative and
qualitative method to deliver a favourable advantage compared to simply relying on
a single methodology. Wood (1988) affirms that for the academic researcher the
multiple method approach delivers increased confidence in the outcomes, for it does
not rely only on one source of collecting and analysing data and therefore reduces the
risk of reaching wrong conclusions. The goal therefore in this research is to use both
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the quantitative and qualitative studies to complement each other ensuring that the
methodology lessens the chance for variance in results (Jick, 1979; Schilling, 2006).
He further asserts that multiple sources of collecting data work in conjunction with
one another serving as a further check on validity, and also assists in overcoming
some of the limitations in participant bias. Acknowledging that executive coaching
is still a relatively new field for academic research this dual approach was adopted in
order to increase the possibility of generating new knowledge toward the field of
executive coaching.
Both the quantitative and qualitative approaches are viewed from two
different perspectives. Generally speaking the quantitative approach is objective and
relies heavily on statistics and figures, while the qualitative approach is subjective
and interprets language and description (Lee, 1992). They both have their part to
play in constructing a more complete picture of what is being studied. These two
approaches were chosen for a specific purpose. As Lee (1992) states it:
Many books have been written on the methodology of both quantitative and
qualitative research designs. However, they tend to focus mainly on the
mechanical procedures of data collection and data analysis. There is a
tendency to argue the case for quantitative and qualitative approaches almost
as ends in themselves, abstracted from deeper, ontological and
epistemological issues that need to be examined. The difference between the
qualitative approach and the quantitative approach is not simply the
difference between multivariate statistics and in depth interview, between
Likert-scale questionnaire and open-ended questionnaire, or between survey
and case study. They are two different approaches to organisation studies.
Research is not just a question of methodology. The selection of method
implies some view of the situation being studied. How it is being studied
carries certain assumptions and answers to what is being studied. It is like
selecting a tennis racquet to play tennis or a badminton racquet to play
badminton because we have a preconception as to what the game involves.
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Hence, both approaches in this research were chosen for specific purposes that best
suited the circumstances. The quantitative study sought to establish what the
objective outcomes from executive coaching were, and the qualitative study sought
to discover what contextual processes and experiences people received through
executive coaching.
The quantitative study used questionnaires with reliable and validated
measures to investigate the impact of executive coaching upon leader-empowering
behaviours, psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment,
while controlling for the quality delivery of executive coaching. The qualitative
interviews sought to add further insight into the process of the developmental nature
of psychological empowerment being experienced by leaders (CITs) occurring
during the coaching intervention.
Study one background to the coaching contract
This study was conducted in a large and diverse not-for-profit organisation
with approximately 1800 employees which had chosen to use an external coaching
and training organisation. Part of the not-for-profit organisations intent was to offer
personal and professional development for their leaders enabling them to develop
individual coaching skills to complement their existing leadership abilities. This
same type of strategy is mentioned by Zeus and Skiffington (2000) where they
discuss the coaching of managers to become coaches as a means of assisting in their
personal growth and development.
The not-for-profit organisations overall long-term strategy also involved
creating a coaching culture which would empower its constituents from senior
management through to frontline volunteers. To implement this strategy they
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decided to develop a multiplication system which exponentially could increase the
numbers of needed coach-trainers and leaders with increased coaching skills. The
strategic intent was to have multiple layers of leaders with coaching skills throughout
the organisation. Thus, an individual conducting the coach training was referred to
as a coach mentor (CM = external executive coaches and trained internal
consultants); each leader receiving the training as a coach in training (CIT); and
each leader being coached by a CIT as a coachee.
Upper level full-time paid leaders, some being internal consultants, within the
not-for-profit organisation were invited by senior management to volunteer, as a part
of their professional development, to participate in the first nine-month coaching
program (delivered by external executive coaches) as CITs. Invitations to leaders
were based on two criteria (perceived potential to coach others and their high profile
positions as state executive members and district leaders) in order to model the
culture shift from the top down. As part of the program each CIT approached at least
two or more potential coachees who were in some leadership role within the
organisation. As needed an option would also be given to each CIT who showed
significant coaching ability and desire to become a CM within the not-for-profit
organisation at the end of the nine-month training period. This would aid in keeping
up with the demand of leaders who desired to receive coaching accreditation. The
program would be repeated annually until all those in a leadership position had
received the opportunity to become internally accredited in the use of coaching skills
and all those who worked within the organisation had the opportunity of being
coached.
Eleven out of 15 CITs from the initial nine-month coaching program
delivered by executive coaches became a CM. Each CM was required to continue in
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a structured process of ongoing development as a coach in order to keep their
accreditation and have access to the copyrighted materials (power point
presentations, workbooks, 360 degree assessments, web-based resources) for running
the nine-month program. This research project commenced at the beginning of the
second nine-month coaching program, which was delivered by the external coaching
organisation and the CMs who were developed through the first round of training. In
the delivery of the second nine-month program the training component of the
program was still conducted by the external coaching organisation with the new CMs
observing the training process. Both an external coach and the newly developed 11
CMs conducted the coaching component of the second nine-month program,
working one-to-one with the CITs. Each newly trained CM was also supported by
the external coaching organisation while they were coaching the CITs through the
nine-month program. They were supported in coaching the CITs through the clear
nine-month system involving elements such as developing the coaching agreement,
midpoint evaluations, taking CITs through a the post 360 degree feedback, and
specific prescribed open-ended questions.

Structure of nine month coaching program
The nine-month coaching program started in June 2008 and was completed in
March 2009 (Table 3.1). It was structured with both training and coaching
components. Each CIT began by reading a text which explained the basic coaching
framework as taught by the external coaching organisation. The model used covers
five basic coaching elements: developing the relationship, assessing the current
situation, developing a plan forward, exploring the necessary resources needed to
achieve the plan, and ongoing regular review of the CITs progress toward the plan.
Each CIT was assigned their own CM who would guide them through the nine-
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month process coaching and mentoring them through the experience of coaching
their coachee/s.
A Table that represents the coaching model is presented in Appendix 1
During the nine-month process the CM met over the phone monthly for coach
/ mentoring sessions with their assigned CIT. Telephone sessions were the most
practical means for coach / mentoring because of the significant geographical
dispersion of the CITs. Each CIT was required to take their own session notes of
their experience with their coachees to help them keep track and have constructive
discussions with their CM. The first two sessions with the CIT were introductory
sessions discussing the content of the text and how the CIT was integrating the
concepts. The CITs then met as a group to go through a day and a half of training in
the coaching framework, which involved more information and workshop
experiences in coaching triads. Next, there were six-monthly coach / mentoring
sessions which immediately followed each of the CITs coaching sessions with their
coachee/s. Over the six sessions the CM covered areas such as setting up the
coaching agreement, making sure a mid-point evaluation was taking place, ensuring
effective goals were set, and answering any questions that arose for the CIT through
the process.
At the end of the 8
th
session with the CIT the CM prepared the CIT to take an
online 360 degree validated and reliable assessment measuring their coaching
competencies. The CM, the CIT and the coachee/s completed the 360 degree
assessment based on the coaching performance of the CIT. Then there was another
day and a half of training covering in-depth the coaching competencies and steps that
could be taken to improve in any deficient areas. During the second lot of training,
each CIT created a personal development plan to take away. One month later, their
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Table 3.1 Nine-month coach / training program


June
2008
July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan
2009
Feb March
Mentoring Each CIT
discusses
what they
are learning
through the
1
st
half of
the text on
the
coaching
method.
Each CIT
is taught
how to use
the web-
based
password
protected
site for
recording
their
sessions

Each CIT
discusses
what they
are learning
through the
2
nd
half of
the text in
preparing
for
training.
Each CIT
is taught
how to
access the
coaching
tools on the
web-based
coaching
site.
The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
their 1
st

meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues eg.
setting up
the
agreement

The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues eg.
obstacles
that have
arisen
The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues eg.
progress in
actions
taken by
coachee
The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues eg.
discuss
mid-point
review
The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues eg.
discuss
strategies
and
dynamics
of closing
the
coaching
relationship
The CM
follows up
with the
CIT after
meeting
with their
two
coachees
this month
and
discusses
relevant
issues.
And
Prepares
the CIT to
complete
360 degree
assessment
to take to
training

The CM
coaches the
CIT
through
their
personal
develop
ment plan
closing the
relationship
with long-
term goals
set.
Training Each CIT
spends 1
days at a
workshop
being
trained in
how to use
the
coaching
method
learned in
the text,
through
more
information
and
practice

Each CIT
spends 1
days at a
workshop
being
trained in
the nine
competenc-
ies of
coaching
and using
their 360
degree
results to
create a
personal
develop-
ment plan


Coaching
experience
The CIT
begins their
coaching
with their
two
coachees
having
developed
an
agreement
on goals
and how
they will
work
together

The CIT
meets with
their two
coachees
for the 2
nd

monthly
coaching
session,
working
through
personal &
leadership
issues &
setting
action
plans
The CIT
meets with
their two
coachees
for the 3
rd

monthly
coaching
session,
working
through
goals and
inviting
them to
review the
process
The CIT
meets with
their two
coachees
for the 4
th

monthly
coaching
session,
working
through
action steps
to achieve
goals and
adapting
according
to the
review
The CIT
meets with
their two
coachees
for the 5
th

monthly
coaching
session,
working
through
client
agenda to
facilitate
achieve
ment of
goals

The CIT
meets with
their two
coachees
for the 6
th

monthly
coaching
session,
working
through
closure of
coaching
relationship
& inviting
coachee to
complete
final
review


Other Each CIT
given text
to read on
coaching
method
Each CIT
Receives a
workbook
at training
to be used
in training
and for the
following
months to
come -
tools,
journaling,
and
information
CM uses
specific
documente
d open-
ended
questions
with CIT
designed to
help the
CIT to
think
through the
current
phase of
the
coaching
relationship
eg.
agreement
process and
relationship
building
CM uses
specific
documente
d open-
ended
questions
with CIT
designed to
help the
CIT to
think
through the
current
phase of
the
coaching
relationship
eg.
checking
on the
appropriate
-ness of
goals that
have been
set
CM uses
specific
documente
d open-
ended
questions
with CIT
designed to
help the
CIT to
think
through the
current
phase of
the
coaching
relationship
eg.
removing
obstacles,
and
resourcing
coachees
Work
through 2
mid-point
review
forms from
both their
coachee
and
themselves
in how they
see things
progressing
. And
taking the
appropriate
action to
improve
their
coaching
with their
coahee/s
CM uses
specific
documente
d open-
ended
questions
with CIT
designed to
help the
CIT to
think
through the
current
phase of
the
coaching
relationship
eg. discuss
the further
closing of
the
coaching
relationship
and its
dynamics
After their
6
th
session
with their
CM the
CIT, along
with their
CM and 2
coachees
complete a
validated
and reliable
360 degree
assessment
on 9
coaching
competenc-
ies. The
results of
which are
brought to
training


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CM conducted the final coach/mentoring session with them working through the
implementation of their personal development plan and discussing what had already
been achieved and what were the long-term plans.

Sample groups for quantitative study
Sample group one
This research is examining executive coaching by investigating both the CITs
being coached and any flow on effect to their coachees within the organisation. The
first sample group examined, originally consisting of 34 participants, were CITs.
Out of the 34 CITs, 23 completed a pre questionnaire; however one questionnaire
was unusable, reducing the group of CITs to 22 representing a response rate of
64.7%. Six months later, after sending out the post questionnaire to the 22 CITs, 20
CITs completed it reducing the potential sample group of 22 to an actual sample size
of 20, representing a response rate of 58.9%. The sample group included 13 males
and 7 females consisting of an age range from 34 to 67 with an average age of 52
years. The group had 18 full-time workers, one part-time worker and one casual
worker. Education levels ranged from less than a year 12 high school certificate to a
doctorate degree, with the most frequently represented group (34.8%) having
completed an undergraduate level of education.
Sample group two
The second sample group was made up of 25 coachees coached by the CITs
(see Table 3.2). Each CIT who completed a pre questionnaire was sent an email
requesting that they invite their coachees to participate in this research project. Once
coachees accepted the invitation from the CIT, they were emailed a hyperlink to the
pre questionnaire with explanatory information explaining the pre and post design.
Nineteen of a possible 22 CITs responded with a total of 38 sets of coachee contact
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details. Out of the 38 coachees who were sent an email there were 31 who supplied
responses to the pre questionnaire, all of which were usable. Out of the possible 19
CITs who supplied contact details of their coachees only 16 had coachees who
responded to filling in a pre questionnaire. Three CITs had one of their coachees
complete a questionnaire; 11 CITs had two of their coachees respond; and two CITs
had three respond to the questionnaire, totalling 31 coachees. Six months after
sending out the 31 post-questionnaires 25 coachees responded. The sample group of
25 coachees can be traced back to 14 CITs in sample group one. Hence, the final
distribution of CITs with their coachees consisted of nine CITs with two coachees
each, five CITs had one coachee each, and one CIT failed to complete a post
questionnaire and was excluded from the CITs sample group. This meant that two
coachees could not be traced back to a CIT in the study.
The coach and training program which sought to accredit leaders in coaching
competencies allowed for CITs to choose to coach people within the organisation
who were not directly under their leadership. Hence, a primary purpose of tracing
the CIT with their coachee/s was to measure the effect of leader-empowering
behaviours upon psychological empowerment with the subset of coachees who were
also their team members. Thus, only the coachees who were under supervisory
authority to the leader coaching them were asked to complete the leader-empowering
behaviours section of the questionnaire. For if a leader within the organisation
coached someone who was not under their direct leadership then it would be unlikely
for them to accurately assess any changes in their leader-empowering behaviours.
Now that the sample groups have been discussed for the quantitative study of this
research, the procedure undertaken for this study will be examined.

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Table 3.2 Formation process for sample group 2

Procedure
The methodology used in this research involved pre and post questionnaires
designed to compare the differences between pre and post coaching. The aim of this
research is to examine both the effect of executive coaching upon leaders being
coached and any flow on effect to coachees within the organisation. Four constructs
Process of Forming Sample Group Two

Pre Coaching Questionnaire phase
Coaches in Training (CITs) Coachees of CITs

22 CITs complete pre questionnaire

19 CITs supply emails of their coachees

16 have coachees that respond

Distribution of CITs with Coachees

3 CITs
11 CITs
2 CITs




38 Emailed a questionnaire

31 Respond to pre questionnaire

Coachees relating back to CITs

1 Coachee each = sub total of 3
2 Coachees each = sub total of 22
3 Coachees each = sub total of 6 +
Total pre coaching coachee group of 31
Post Coaching Questionnaire phase (6 months after pre phase)


From sample group one, 14 CITs can be
connected to 23 coachees.


Final distribution of CITs with Coachees

- 1 CIT did not complete post questionnaire
9 CITs
+ 5 CITs
14 CITs of 20 in sample group one

Final Sample group of coachees = 25
25 Respond to post questionnaire

Coachees relating back to CITs

1 Pair of coachees = 2
9 Pairs of coachees = 18
5 Individual coachees = 5 +
Total number of sample group two = 25
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were measured: leader-empowering behaviours, psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment. The leader-empowering behaviours were
measured through collecting self and team member report (subset of coachees)
feedback on the CITs. The other three constructs, psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment, were measured only by self-report feedback
from the perspectives of the CITs and the perspective of the coachees. Each CIT was
informed about this study by the not-for-profit organisation in which they worked
and offered the option to participate. It was explained they would be receiving an
email clarifying the whole process and what would be required of them if they chose
to participate. There was no expectation given by their organisation that they should
participate, but only a voluntary invitation given.
An email was sent introducing the pre questionnaire and explaining what was
being measured and how it would help further the research on executive coaching.
The email also explained the voluntary nature of the study and the participants right
to exercise freedom to participate or not. The email also contained a hyperlink to an
online questionnaire. The email explained further that participation in the study
involved pre and post questionnaires which would be conducted six months apart and
that at the mid-point of the six months program a phone-interview would be
conducted. The same questionnaire used by the leaders being coached (CITs) was
also given to a control group of full-time paid leaders of the same level of authority
within the organisation. Unfortunately, there was a poor response rate with only nine
questionnaires returned. This resulted in the dismissal of the control group
component within this study.
The first four constructs in the pre questionnaire administered to the CITs
were identical to the post questionnaire. However, the post questionnaire had two
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extra executive coaching constructs added to it which were designed to control for
the variables within the different delivery of coaching received. Dingman (2004),
who designed the two executive coaching constructs, created measures in her
research to operationalise executive coaching to examine its effect upon job related
attitudes. The two constructs are the quality of the coaching relationship and the
quality of the coaching process.
Instruments used in study one
Overview of measures
This study uses six existing measures: psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction, affective commitment, leader-empowering behaviours, quality of the
executive coaching process and quality of the executive coaching relationship. This
study used a commonly accepted 1-7 Likert scale giving a more graduated choice
and making the questionnaire easier to follow for participants (Lim, 2008). Further,
research shows that when the number of rating steps are increased, the choice of the
uncertain category decreases producing more helpful data (Matell & Jacoby,
1972).
The full questionnaire for study one is presented in Appendix 2.
Demographic measures
The demographic sections were segmented into different types of questions.
There were some direct answer questions like What is your age? There were
multiple-choice questions such as, Please indicate your highest level of education
reached? The background information in the questionnaires also covered key areas
including gender, industry experience, length of tenure and level of authority
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currently reached. This data will aid in understanding any biased demographical
attributes that may be present in each group.
Leader and coachee psychological empowerment
Spreitzers (1992) psychological empowerment construct was used because it
assessed each of the four dimensions of psychological empowerment identified by
Thomas and Velthouse (1990). These four dimensions were supported in validations
of the scale carried out in two different organisational samples (Spreitzer et al.,
1997). This measure has a 7 point Likert scale with 12 items, 3 items measuring
each of the four facets of psychological empowerment. One example item from the
meaning dimension is My job activities are personally meaningful to me (Spreitzer
et al., 1997). Under the dimension of self-determination an example item is, I have
significant autonomy in determining how I do my job. For this research, it was
decided to keep the 7 point Likert scale as originally designed by Spreitzer (1992).
The psychological measure of Job Satisfaction will now be examined.
Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is considered an important psychological affect in the
workplace and one of the most recognised measures used to assess it is the (short
form) Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire (D. J. Weiss, Dawis, England, &
Lofquist, 1967). It contains 20 items, 10 of which assess intrinsic job satisfaction
and 10 of which assess extrinsic job satisfaction. An example of an intrinsic item is,
My job allows me to do things that don't go against my conscience, and an
example of an extrinsic item is, I am satisfied with the way company policies are
put into practice (Arvey et al., 1989; D. J. Weiss et al., 1967).
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This well-regarded measure in the job satisfaction literature is considered to
be a reliable and valid instrument having demonstrated an overall reliability
coefficient of .90 (Arvey et al., 1989; D. J. Weiss et al., 1967). According to the
Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire Manual, the internal consistency analysis
calculated for the scales across a wide range of occupational areas produces a median
reliability coefficient of .86 for the intrinsic section and .80 for the extrinsic (Arvey
et al., 1989; D. J. Weiss et al., 1967).
The (short form) Minnesota Job Satisfaction measure uses a 5-point Likert
scale. However, in line with the other constructs in this research, a 7-point scale was
chosen to allow for more graduated responses. This particular scale was not from
strongly disagree to strongly agree but rather from being very dissatisfied (1) to
being very satisfied (7). The next measure to be discussed concerns the affective
commitment of participants.
Affective commitment
This research is measuring affective commitment as one of the three facets
within organisational commitment. This construct was developed in the research of
Allen and Meyer (1996) and has become a widely accepted facet of organisational
commitment. It is suited to this study because it distinguishes between the three
different facets of affective, continuance, and normative commitments. The
organisational commitment measure consists of 18 items, six items for each of the
three areas (Allen & Meyer, 1996). This study utilises all 6 affective commitment
items. The six items were kept with the original 7-point Likert scale (1= strongly
disagree to 7=strongly agree). An example of the affective commitment scale is, I
really feel as if this organisation's problems are my own.
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Allen and Meyer (1996) and Meyer et al. (1993), who conducted extensive
analyses on the construct validity of the three scales of organisational commitment
by reviewing the extensive body of research that has used these constructs, found this
measure to be psychometrically sound. In their analyses the coefficient alpha
median rating of internal consistency of the affective commitment scale was .85
(Allen & Meyer, 1996). When longitudinal data was collected using the affective
commitment scale construct, all the test-retest reliabilities were in an acceptable
range and the lowest ratings recorded were from participants who were experiencing
their first day on the job. The next measure to be explored was chosen to investigate
any shift in leaders empowering behaviours as a result of executive coaching.
Leader-empowering behaviours
The leader-empowering behaviours questionnaire (LEBQ) section for this
research project was developed by Konczak et al. (2000). Their questionnaire
measures six types of empowering behaviours identified from their research:
delegation of authority, accountability, self-directed decision-making, information
sharing, skill development and coaching for innovative performance. All alpha
reliability coefficients scores on the six-factor model were acceptable (range = .82 to
.90) making the LEBQ instrument fit within the parameters of reliability (Konczak et
al., 2000).
An example item assessing the delegation of authority factor is, My manager
gives me the authority I need to make decisions that improve work processes and
procedures (Konczak et al., 2000, p. 307). Another example within the area of self-
directed decision making is, My manager tries to help me arrive at my own
solutions when problems arise, rather than telling me what he/she would do
(Konczak et al., 2000, p. 307). The LEBQ measure has used a 7 point Likert scale (1
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strongly disagree to 7 strongly agree), which will be retained in this research.
Having discussed the measure of leader-empowering behaviours, a discussion will
now be undertaken on the measure of psychological empowerment which is an
expected outcome of leader-empowering behaviours. The final two measures to be
discussed will aid in controlling for any negative executive coaching experiences
received by participants that could skew the results.
Quality of executive coaching process
This study uses Dingmans (2004) 18-item measure of the quality of the
executive coaching process. However, there needed to be modifications made in
order to best suit this particular research project, which will now be discussed. This
measure has six factors: formal contracting, relationship building, assessment,
getting feedback and reflecting, goal-setting, and implementation and evaluation.
The reliability analysis, reported by Dingman (2004), revealed a very acceptable
alpha coefficient of .89.
An example item from this scale is, My coach and I developed clear
objectives and expectations for the coaching relationship. Another example is, My
coach and I jointly developed an action plan to achieve specific goals. Each item
within Dingmans (2004) construct used a Likert Scale from 1 to 5 (1 = Strongly
disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree). In this research,
the commonly accepted 1 7 Likert scale was chosen over the 1- 5 scale to allow for
a more graduated choice and to avoid participant confusion through presenting a
consistent format (1 = Strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = slightly disagree, 4 =
Neutral, 5 = slightly agree, 6 = agree & 7 = strongly agree) (Lim, 2008).
Two of the items from the original scale were re-worded to bring greater
clarity as they seemed to cover more than one idea. For example, the item My coach
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allows me to stand back and take a look at experiences and question long held
assumptions as well as to connect broad themes was replaced with, My coach
enabled me to step back and see the big picture dynamics behind specific events.
Item clarity was also sought because research has shown that an increase in item
clarity is inversely proportional with a participants likelihood of choosing a neutral
response in a Likert scale (Kulas & Stachowski, 2009).
Some items that were in a Likert format were reworked into more direct
questions to receive more specific details to suit the purposes of collecting the best
data. For example, the Likert question, My coach and I met regularly working
toward achieving the goals set out in the Action Plan, was replaced with the
multiple choice question How often did your coaching sessions take place? along
with the choices of semi-weekly (twice each week), weekly, fortnightly, monthly
and other (please specify). The original question used the relative term of
regularly which would not quantify how many sessions were completed. Research
suggests that frequency of sessions could add to the quality of the coaching
relationship (Smither et al., 2003). Smither et al. (2003) recommended that future
research look into the number of coaching sessions received and how this impacts
upon the outcomes.
The executive coaching process section that was finally used had 17 items
instead of Dingmans (2004) original 18 items. One item resulted from combining
two questions together: one asking whether an agreement was made between the
executive coaching and the client and the other asking whether a confidentiality
agreement was made. Since the coach training in this program required a
confidential agreement to be made the two questions were replaced with, My coach
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and I developed a confidential (written or oral) contract outlining the formal
coaching relationship.
Another of Dingmans (2004) questions, My coach and I operationalised the
action plan meaning we both agreed upon regular meeting times and a possible
length of the coaching relationship (or end date might include an interim meeting
with your sponsor - if you have one), was discarded because once again it didnt
apply to this sample group. The coach training package had clear start and finish
dates as well as predetermined monthly coaching sessions. Finally a question about
reviews, My progress is reviewed in a timely manner, was also discarded. Once
again this process was written into the training package where an oral review took
place after each coaching session and written reviews took place after the third
coaching session and the final sixth session. Beside the combining of two items into
one, the only items that were adjusted or deleted had either a lengthy question, which
covered more than one idea (requiring adjustment) or a question which didnt apply
to this particular sample group (requiring deletion for questionnaire length reasons).
The measure of the executive coaching relationship will now be discussed.
Quality of the executive coaching relationship
The quality of the executive coaching relationship is closely related to the
quality of the executive coaching process in that they both affect the executive
coaching experience for the person being coached. The key thought here is that even
if an executive coaching experience involves all the ingredients of a quality
executive coaching process, if the executive coaching relationship is not a quality
one then executive coaching will be ineffective (Dingman, 2004). Thus, in order to
control for this variable Dingmans (2004) 16-item measure, labelled the quality of
the executive coaching relationship, was chosen, Dingman (2004) conducted a
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reliability analysis on the instrument which revealed a coefficient alpha rating of
0.95. This measure assesses three types of coaching behaviours: interpersonal skills,
communication style and instrumental support (Dingman, 2004).
Dingmans (2004) measure of the executive coaching relationship was made
up of 16 items. For this research project, although all 16 items were used, four items
were adjusted: two to shorten lengthy items and two to help clarify further the
intended purpose of the question. The two lengthy items are: My coach is good
about not talking too much or dominating our appointments and is clearly committed
to hearing me and helping me discover my own answers/solutions, rather than
expressing their own viewpoints, and My coach demonstrates genuine active
listening and consistently draws me out so that I feel heard and understood. The
two items were shortened into the following, respectively, My coach encouraged
me to discover my own solutions, and My coach consistently drew me out so that
I felt heard and understood. The two items that were adjusted for clarity reasons
originally were: My coach stimulates me to think, and My coach stimulates me to
feel. They were lengthened as follows: My coach stimulated me to think more
clearly, and My coach stimulated me to get in touch with my emotional
responses. Some other example items in this construct are, My coach is
empathetic and understanding, and My ideas are listened to attentively. Once
again Dingman (2004) used a Likert scale of 1-5, which was adjusted to a 7 point
scale in this research in order to keep it uniform and gain a more graduated response
from participants.
In constructing the coaching process and coaching relationship section of the
questionnaire, present tense verbs were replaced with past tense verbs because
responses about the completed coaching process were being sought. These two
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measures were not included on the pre questionnaire because CITs in the pre
coaching phase could not answer questions about something they had not yet
experienced. Slight modifications were made to some of the items within the
constructs used in order to best reflect the culture of the organisation being examined
and the emphasis on which this research was focusing. For example, where the word
manager was used it was changed to the word supervisor to reflect the terms
used within the organisation. An open-ended question was added to the end of the
questionnaire to allow for any insights that participants may have had to offer to this
research. Having discussed this first study, the next section will discuss the second
study, which is a qualitative investigation looking further into the developmental
nature of psychological empowerment through executive coaching.
Study two qualitative
Introduction to qualitative method
The qualitative method for this study was chosen in order to gain further
insight into the process of the developmental nature of psychological empowerment
through executive coaching. Hence, this study was designed to analyse the
perceptions of the leaders being coached (CITs) at the midway point of their
executive coaching experience. Choosing the midway point was one way of
checking on the psychological progress of each CIT being coached. By interviewing
the CITs, there would be a certain amount of freedom to ask questions, which
stretched outside the boundaries of the quantitative study, bringing greater depth to
the research by using a qualitative approach.

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Sample group for qualitative study
The sample group for the qualitative part of this research consisted of 16
CITs originating from twenty-two CITs, who returned usable pre questionnaires
from the quantitative study. CITs who accepted the invitation to be a part of the
quantitative study were also invited at the same time to be a part of this qualitative
study, occurring later at the midway point. Because of availability reasons during
the time of the interviews, only sixteen of the possible twenty-two CITs were
interviewed. The group was made up of 5 females and 11 males. The average age of
the group was 51.63 years, with a median age of 49.5 years. The age range of the
group was between 45 years and 67 years. The average tenure of the group was
15.95 years, and the median tenure was 3.75 years. Five participants had been
employed for over a decade, while 7 of them had been employed for 2 years or less.
The average tenure in their current role was 9.09 years, while the median amount of
time for their current role was 7.75 years. There were 12 full-time employees in this
sample group with the remaining 4 working part-time. At the beginning of each
interview each CIT was asked whether they had been coached previously. Thirteen
CITs out of 16 had not been coached previously, whereas 3 said that they had been in
some sort of mentoring relationship, but not necessarily a structured one. The
instrument used for this study will now be examined.
Instrument used in study two
There were nine interview questions designed specifically for this study.
Eight of the semi-structured interview questions were created out of Spreitzers
(1992) 12-item (3 for each of the four facets) quantitative measure for psychological
empowerment. The first question on the semi-structured questionnaire contained one
overview question designed to reveal perceived broad benefits from executive
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coaching. Strategically, this question was asked first so as to assist in drawing out
unbiased responses in relation to psychological empowerment. Thus, if responses to
this first question later revealed correlations with psychological empowerment it
would give more rigour to the study. The remaining eight questions corresponded to
the four psychological empowerment facets of meaning, impact, competency and
self-determination (two questions for each facet). Further, most of the eight
questions included follow-on questions as a means of expanding further responses.
If the written follow-on questions did not produce clarity in the responses given, then
further open-ended contemporaneous questions were asked, in order to gain rich data
on the psychological affects experienced by the CITs.
The full semi-structured questionnaire is presented in Appendix 3.
Procedure and context
During the coaching program, outlined in detail in Table 3.1, each CIT
received nine one-to-one sessions with their coach mentor. The first two were
introductory aiding them to integrate the coaching framework into their
understanding. The next six sessions were coaching-proper sessions with a key
focus in enabling CITs to better implement coaching as a part of their leadership
development. The final session followed up on their personal development plan to
aid them in further improving their new coaching skills. This second (qualitative)
study measured a cross-sectional perspective commencing at the midway point of the
CITs six coaching-proper sessions with their coachees. It was at this point in the
nine-month program that a one-to-one semi-structured phone interview was
conducted.
All of the CITs who were contacted regarding the first study were also
informed about this second study involving an interview at the midway point. At the
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beginning of each interview the CIT was informed about the desire to have the
interview recorded, having the option to either accept or decline the request. Since
there were no objections, each telephone interview was recorded in order to later
transcribe the recordings for analysis. The interviews were conducted over a three-
week period in accordance with the CITs schedules.
After conducting the third interview, it was discovered that one of the two
meaning category questions could be worded more clearly since a key word in the
question was being misunderstood because of the culture of the organisation. The
key word was the word care. Since the organisation was a highly caring
organisation, and each individual was working there because they cared deeply for
others, the intent of the question was being lost. Thus the question, Do you feel that
coaching has increased or decreased your feeling of how much you care about what
happens in your work? was changed to Do you feel that coaching has increased
your personal sense of purpose about what happens in your work? This way the
question lead them to reflect more clearly over the increase in their personal feelings
of meaning through executive coaching rather than whether they cared fully before
they received executive coaching.
In relation to the first question asked in the interview process, it is noted that
because the executive coaching in this study was predominantly enabling leaders
(CITs) to use coaching skills in their leadership, all of the emerging themes from this
question had some relationship with the practice of executive coaching (Kilburg,
1996). This contextual consideration is important to keep in mind because some of
the themes that emerged from the data relate both to the experience the CIT received
from executive coaching and the experience the CIT was able to impart to their
coachee/s through coaching them. Further, some CITs chose to work with coachees
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within the organisation who were not a part of their direct leadership team. This
brought different coaching dynamics regarding expected outcomes from the leader
and different pressures for the coachee.
Reliability and validity
Steps were taken to increase reliability and validity in this qualitative study.
Typically, the criterion used to accomplish this is distinctly different from
quantitative research (Lee, 1992). One key element in the process of validation is the
selection of the sample group. Specifically, according to Morse (1991), two
elements are important: appropriateness and adequacy. Rather than a desired random
sample within a quantitative study, the qualitative study requires suitable participants
who are best informed on the topic being investigated.
Thus, the sample group were all appropriate participants being key leaders
who were fully informed regarding the organisational integrated strategy of
developing a coaching culture and receiving like-for-like coaching. This qualified
each of the 16 participants who volunteered for the qualitative study to give
intelligent input. In regards to the element of sample group adequacy, Lincoln and
Guba (1985) suggest that redundancy in field research interviews is normally
achieved with between 12 and 20 participants. In this study there were 16
participants which helped fulfil the initial adequacy requirements. Additionally, the
responses revealed sufficient data repetition to gain saturation providing a full
description of the phenomenon (Morse, 1991).
A further key element to maintaining reliability in a qualitative study that
uses information obtained through interviews is data verification (Hamlin et al.,
2009). In this study the transcribed data was shared via email (along with the
process used and summary documents with minimal pre-analysis discussion) with an
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external consultant who has spent more than fifteen years consulting with similar
not-for-profit enterprises. Furthermore the consultant had previous experience in
executive coaching and qualitative research assisting in a number of data verification
exercises. Following the independent analysis, as a part of the verification process,
mutual discussion was conducted on the outcomes, where eventually consensus was
reached delivering greater clarity, meaning, objectivity and a fuller understanding of
the phenomena experienced by participants.
Finally, the last principle in maintaining reliability and validity in this study
was the verification of the findings with other research literature in related fields.
Hence, the thematic analysis identified salient themes in the data which were in line
with previous literature (Hamlin et al., 2009).
Data analysis
Once the recorded telephone interviews were transcribed, the written data
was analysed in order to discover any themes that related to the four facets of
psychological empowerment. The analysis began by creating five separate word
processing documents with distinct headings of the four psychological empowerment
facets of meaning, impact, self-determination and competency, along with a fifth
heading of the broad benefits perceived from executive coaching. These headings
were created to directly correspond with the nine interview questions (1 = broad
benefits, 2 & 4 = meaning, 3 & 5 = impact, 6 & 7 = competency and 8 & 9 = self-
determination) to reveal whether participants perceived executive coaching to have
contributed to feelings of empowerment. All the unedited data from the nine
interview questions was collated and then placed under the corresponding heading
creating five separate lists. Each list was then examined for terms, phrases and
concepts that were repeated, revealing distinct themes within each category. The
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emerging themes from each of the five categories were then short-listed. This
revealed the prevailing perceptions of CITs regarding their overall view of the
benefits received and their feelings of empowerment from executive coaching.
The first area of focus in analysing the refined data was investigating the
perceived broad benefits of executive coaching expressed by the CITs. In the
interview process this was the most undefined question, which had no necessary
direct connection with psychological empowerment. Therefore, if themes emerged
under the broad benefits of executive coaching that corresponded with the facets of
psychological empowerment it would have implications which needed further
exploration within the analysis section of this thesis. The proceeding areas of focus
in the analysis of the refined data were with the four facets of psychological
empowerment. Each of the four lists was examined to observe whether CITs
experienced a sense of greater empowerment through executive coaching. The
analysing of these results is presented in the next chapter.
Conclusion
Having described the methods of both the quantitative and qualitative studies, the
data from both of these studies will now be analysed in chapter four. The reported
analyses of both studies will be presented separately in chapter four, in order for the
reader to more easily follow the sequential process of analysis. However, in chapter
five the results of the analyses of both studies will be integrated for a more cohesive
discussion on the effects of executive coaching.


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Chapter 4 Data analysis
Introduction
The purpose for conducting this study was to examine the effects of executive
coaching upon leaders (CITs) receiving executive coaching and any flow on effect
upon their coachees. To best accomplish this task, it was decided to utilise both a
quantitative study and a qualitative study in order to triangulate the results (Schilling,
2006). The measures examined in the quantitative study with the CITs were leader-
empowering behaviours, psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective
commitment. Measures relating to the flow on effect with coachees in this part of
the quantitative study were psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and
affective commitment. The qualitative study was utilised to further explore the area
of psychological empowerment with respect to its developmental nature through the
process of executive coaching. This data analysis section will commence by
examining the quantitative data and then proceed to investigate the qualitative data.
Reliability analysis and bi-variate correlation test
In order to test the internal reliability of the major measures used in this thesis
a scale reliability test was conducted on each measure, the outcomes of which are
shown below in Table 4.1. All the measures have a Cronbachs alpha score above
the accepted level of 0.70 with the exception of the leaders affective commitment
measure. However, this score is only slightly below the accepted 0.70 with a 0.68
alpha co-efficient.
In order to examine the relationships between the major measures for this
study, a bivariate correlation test was conducted. The correlation matrix can be
examined below in table 4.1. The correlation matrix did reveal a consistent
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significant relationship between psychological empowerment and job satisfaction
with both CITs and their coachees. This relationship will be discussed further along
with other analytical findings in chapter four. The implications of this relationship
will be discussed in chapter five. The five hypotheses put forward in this research
will now be analysed.
Table 4.1 - Coached leaders and coachees (at time 2), correlations and alpha
coefficients for the major measures

*Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Variable Mean

s.d. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Leader-
empowering
behaviours
(of leaders)
5.84 .48 ( .85)
2. Psychological
empowerment
(of leaders)
6.20 .43 .39 (. 84)
3. Job
satisfaction (of
leaders)
5.94 .85 .15 .84** ( .96)
4. Affective
commitment
(of leaders)

5.16 1.20 .001 .16 .32 ( .68)
5. Leader-
empowering
behaviour
(Team
member
rated)

5.86 .63 .10 .06 .09 .11 ( .92)
6. Psychological
empowerment
(of coachees)

6.22 .43 .04 - .09 - .07 - .03 .05 ( .95)
7. Job
satisfaction (of
coachees)

5.90 .57 .09 .08 .14 .15 .16 .77** ( .89)
8. Affective
commitment
(of coachees)
5.86 .94 - .13 - .34 - .25 .34 - .13 .25 .11 ( .77)
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Hypothesis testing
Hypothesis testing (H1) the psychological affects of executive coaching
The first hypothesis predicted that the pre-test and post-test results collected
before and after CITs were coached would positively differ from each other in the
levels of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment.
This hypothesis was tested through the use of three paired samples T-tests,
comparing the pre-test results with the post-test results of each of the three
psychological affects (Table 4.2). The results of these analyses revealed that
although there was an increase in CITs psychological empowerment (t(20) = -1.92, p
= .06), it was not statistically significant. The two final psychological measures of
job satisfaction and affective commitment revealed no statistical increase in the post
mean results, with a significant negative difference (p < .01) in CITs affective
commitment scores. Thus, the data does not support hypothesis one. However, by
comparing the positive results of CITs psychological empowerment from the
qualitative analysis (discussed below) with these findings, it is quite probable that the
lack of positive results, especially in the case of psychological empowerment, are
due to the small sample size yielding low statistical power (Cohen & Kazdin, 2003).
Further reasons for these outcomes will be considered in the next chapter.






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Table 4.2 - Coached leaders and their coachees - pre and post executive
coaching psychological measures - means, standard deviations and T-test
statistics
* P < .05
**P < .01
Two tailed tests.

Hypothesis testing (H2) leader-empowering behaviours and their effect
The second hypothesis predicted that leaders (CITs) being coached would
record a self-rated increase in their levels of leader-empowering behaviours and that
the increase of these ratings would demonstrate an association to increases in
leaders (CITs) psychological empowerment. This hypothesis was tested through
paired samples T-tests and a correlation test. The T-test results (Table 4.2) revealed
there was a significant positive difference (t(19) = -2.03, p< .05) between the pre and
post mean scores of leader-empowering behaviours. However as noted in hypothesis
one there was no significant increase (p = .06) in CITs psychological empowerment
Variable
n
Pre-test
Mean
s. d.
Post-test
Mean
s.d. t df

Pre / post Leader
empowering
behaviours (self-report)

19 5.81 .40 5.92 .42 -2.03* 18
Pre / post - Psychological
empowerment (of leaders)

20 6.03 .46 6.20 .43 -1.92 19
Pre / post - Job satisfaction
(of leaders)

19 6.00 .58 5.94 .85 .61 18
Pre / post - Affective
commitment (of leaders)

19 6.33 .75 5.16 1.20 4.19** 18
Pre / post Leader
empowering
behaviours (team member
report)

16 5.89 .91 5.87 .65 .06 15
Pre / post Psychological
empowerment (of
coachees)

23 6.07 .49 6.22 .44 -2.21* 22
Pre / post Job satisfaction
(of coachees)

23 5.74 .56 5.90 .57 -1.57 22
Pre / post Affective
commitment (of coachees)

24 5.94 .89 5.86 .94 .63 23
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levels. Furthermore, the correlation test (Table 4.1), revealed a direct relationship
between both variables but did not reveal a significant relationship (p = .06) between
leader-empowering behaviours and psychological empowerment. Therefore,
hypothesis two was partially supported. These results will be further explored in the
discussion section of this thesis.
Hypothesis testing (H3) team member rated leader-empowering behaviours
The third hypothesis predicted that team members (as distinct from coachees)
of leaders who had been coached would rate their leaders (CITs) leader-
empowering behaviours higher after coaching. To test this hypothesis a paired
samples T-test was conducted (Table 4.2), using the aggregate results of team
members rated scores, revealing no significant difference (t(16) = .06, p > .05).
This result indicated that although the CITs sensed an increase in their leader-
empowering behaviours from executive coaching, their team members did not share
this same perspective. This result will be further discussed in chapter five.
Hypothesis testing (H4) effects of increased psychological empowerment
Hypothesis four predicted that, after executive coaching, leaders (CITs)
would reveal greater positive psychological empowerment and that as it increased so
too would job satisfaction and affective commitment. To test this hypothesis paired
samples T-tests were conducted, along with a correlation test. The T-test results
using pre and post CITs psychological empowerment scores (Table 4.2), were
conducted in hypothesis one and it was found that there was no significant affect.
The bivariate correlation test (Table 4.1) revealed a highly significant relationship
(p < .001) between psychological empowerment and job satisfaction and a non
significant relationship between psychological empowerment and affective
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commitment, revealing partial support for hypothesis four. To further investigate the
relationship between psychological empowerment and job satisfaction, it should be
noted from Table 4.1 that the relationship between the coachees psychological
empowerment and their job satisfaction was also highly significant. Both sample
groups, therefore, revealed a consistent highly significant relationship between these
two variables as was predicted.
Hypothesis testing (H5) flow on effect from executive coaching
The fifth hypothesis predicted that coachees of leaders (CITs) who had been
coached would reveal higher post psychological affect results in psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and affective commitment. The hypothesis predicted
that these results would occur as a consequence of a flow on effect from their CITs
being coached. To test this hypothesis paired samples T-tests were conducted with
the pre and post scores of each of the three psychological measures from the
responses of the coachees, the results of which can be viewed in Table 4.2. The
results revealed a positive significant difference (t(23) = -2.21, p < .05) between the
pre and post results of psychological empowerment. The two other psychological
measures of job satisfaction (t(23) = -1.57, p > .05) and affective commitment (t(24)
= .63, p > .05) revealed no statistical increase.
Furthermore, the correlation matrix (Table 4.1) revealed that coachees
psychological empowerment had no significant relationship with any of the variables
associated with the CITs in this study, giving no indication of what specific
variable/s were associated with the flow on effect. In summary, these results
partially support hypothesis five (H5): coachees being coached by CITs in the
organisation experienced a flow on effect of increased psychological empowerment
but the variables associated with the flow on effect remain unknown.
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Executive coaching variable that may influence psychological flow on effect
To further investigate the discovered positive psychological empowerment
flow on effect in coachees, a variable that potentially could show a relationship with
this effect, the variable of the supervisory authority of the coach, was tested. A
post-hoc analysis was performed using CITs team members who were a subset of
the complete sample group of coachees. During data collection information from
coachees was received indicating whether or not the leader (CIT) coaching them had
supervisory authority over them. This information was originally collected to test
executive coachings effect on CITs leader-empowering behaviours.
A paired samples T-test was conducted using the pre and post data of the
coachees (team members) whose CITs had supervisory authority over them (see
Table 4.3). The paired samples T-test of CITs team members (subset of coachees)
revealed a non significant effect in psychological empowerment levels (t(14) = -1.33,
p > .05), indicating the possibility that the variable of supervisory authority inherent
within the coach may be inversely related to increased levels of a psychological
empowerment flow on effect. Further empirical research would need to be
conducted on this variable to establish more conclusive results because of low
statistical power and the possibility of other variables effecting the result (Cohen &
Kazdin, 2003). The implications of this effect for managers as coaches will be
discussed in more detail in the next chapter.




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Table 4.3 - Team member pre and post psychological empowerment - means,
standard deviations and T-test statistics (subset of coachees, those being under
supervisory authority of their coach)
*p < .05
Two tailed tests.

Executive coaching process and executive coaching relationship
In order to control for the variability of the executive coaching that was experienced
by CITs in this research, it was decided to collect post coaching data on the quality
of the coaching process and the quality of the coaching relationship. Descriptive
statistics (Table 4.4) revealed that the mean scores of both variables were at an
acceptable level to confirm a positively perceived executive coaching experience by
CITs. Therefore, the standard of the executive coaching services delivered in this
study through the quality of the executive coaching process and the quality of the
executive coaching relationship were not a factor where low results occurred.

Table 4.4 Descriptive statistics of leaders post executive coaching experience








n = 20

Variable
n
Pre
test
Mean
s. d.
Post
test
Mean
s.d. t

df

Pre / post Psychological
empowerment (team
members)

14 6.03 .58 6.15 .45 -1.33 13
Variable
Mean s. d. Minimum Maximum

Quality of the
Coaching Process

Quality of the
coaching
relationship

5.81

5.78
.96

.91
4.00 7.00

4.00 7.00
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Summary of quantitative analysis
The results presented in this chapter indicated three significant findings.
Psychological empowerment was highly significant in its association with job
satisfaction in both CITs and their coachees. Leader-empowering behaviours as
reported by CITs did significantly increase after executive coaching. Finally, there
was a significant flow on effect from CITs coaching their coachees in the area of
psychological empowerment, which may be inversely affected proportionate to the
variable of increased supervisory authority of the coach (CIT). The analysis will
now focus on the qualitative study within this thesis to explore in more depth the
developmental nature of psychological empowerment through executive coaching.
Qualitative data analysis

The qualitative study focussed on answering in more depth a part of the first
research question in chapter one (Is executive coaching with a leader associated with
the increased psychological affects of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction
and affective commitment?). Specifically, the qualitative study investigated the
process of the developmental nature of psychological empowerment through the use
of executive coaching with leaders (CITs). To aid in this investigation, the collective
perceptions of CITs were gathered from semi-structured interviews. They were then
analysed in order to discover what leaders felt executive coaching had added in
relation to them feeling more psychologically empowered. The analysis examined
their perceived overall benefits from coaching and their specific feelings on the four
facets of psychological empowerment as a result of executive coaching. Therefore,
since the research question was investigated through this ordered process, the
proceeding analysis of this data will follow in the same sequence.
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Leaders expressed perceived benefits from executive coaching
Seven themes emerged within the semi-structured interviews regarding the
perceived benefits of being coached: specific goal-setting, greater team member
consideration, use of more questions, clarifying of thoughts, personal accountability,
clear reproducible coaching process and the quality of the coaching relationship. Six
of the seven benefits of executive coaching emerging from this study relate to some
degree with psychological empowerment, the exception being the quality of the
coaching relationship. In this study, the seven benefits of executive coaching have
been established through the responses of CITs to the semi-structured interviews.
Furthermore, the positive relationship between the six benefits of executive coaching
and Thomas and Velthouses (1990) four facets of psychological empowerment have
been established by comparing comments made by participants with the four
conceptual facets of psychological empowerment. The following analysis will
expand on the relationship between CITs responses and the four conceptual facets.
Specific goal-setting
A commonly repeated benefit that emerged from the data was the assistance
received from executive coaching in setting goals in order to focus on future
direction. While this particular benefit predominantly related to the CITs own
goals, there was a secondary theme of being able to help coachees to set their own
goals. One CIT said, I think the major benefits have been clarification of things in
my own mind: getting someone to talk to me about my actual goals and getting them
clarified was a great benefit. Another participant responded, Being coached made
me look at what Im doing with my organisation and setting goals.
There were also several positive comments from CITs concerning the help
they received to enable their coachees to set their own goals. One CIT said, Being
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able to help people find clear actions and goals has been a very good process.
Having established that executive coaching did increase the capacity for goal setting,
the question of whether goal-setting has any positive relationship with the
development of psychological empowerment will now be addressed.
Psychological empowerment and goal-setting
The process in executive coaching of enabling CITs to set their own goals
increased their sense of self-determination, one of the four facets of psychological
empowerment. Self-determination speaks of the perceptions people have about their
behaviour being an expression of their own volitions as opposed to those of others,
(Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). The practice of goal-setting reminded the person
setting goals of their authority and freedom to control aspects of their already
delegated areas of responsibility. The feeling of self-determining ones behaviour
can be seen in a CITs statement that executive coaching produced the benefit of
being more focused on what I want to achieve putting the urgent things aside to
make sure that my long-term goals are being reached. Thus, goal-setting through
executive coaching increased the feelings of self-determination experienced by CITs
in relation to their own behaviour, thereby further developing their levels of
psychological empowerment. Furthermore, the leadership behaviour of encouraging
autonomy in coachees in making their own decisions correlates well with
psychological empowerment and leader-empowering behaviours (Konczak et al.,
2000; Spreitzer, 1996). Although the interviewees in this study were exclusively
with CITs their responses referred to both themselves and their coachees. Thus,
goal-setting referred to both the goal-setting of the leader (CIT) being coached, and
that of the CITs coachee. It can therefore be concluded that executive coaching, in
this study, increased psychological empowerment within both CITs and their
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coachees by both enabling the person being coached (CIT) to better set their own
goals and creating a flow on effect where the CIT better enabled their coachees to set
their own goals.
Team member consideration
A further benefit identified for CITs from executive coaching was the
changed leadership approach adopted with team members with CITs showing deeper
personal concern for them. There seemed to be a general shift toward treating others
with more consideration, but because the program catered for many leaders tending
to work specifically with their team members, team member consideration was
evident. CITs found themselves operating with more consideration of what their
team members felt and thought in decision-making processes. One CIT
differentiated between a previous leadership style characterised by pathological
telling and a newfound realisation that being coached and coaching others is
enabling me to give more ownership to the task that others perform and its been
really good to watch them embrace their tasks with more ownership. Another
comment to support this shift was, I think the benefits are changing the mentality
from I will tell you something to helping people to find things out for
themselves. Another comment supporting an increase in team member
consideration was, I am able to hear more from the person; to be able to go more
deeply into where they are at and therefore have a greater understanding theres
greater depth in the conversation. It is evident that executive coaching brought a
clear leadership shift with CITs gaining capacity to lead with greater consideration of
their team members.
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Psychological empowerment and team member consideration
An examination will now be conducted on the relationship between team
member consideration and psychological empowerment. The executive coaching
with CITs did create a leadership shift increasing the capacity of team member
consideration within CITs. Importantly, the paradigm shift of stronger consideration
of team members feelings was significant enough that CITs could easily recognise
the change. CITs expressed an appreciation of having grown in this area within their
leadership. This increase in ability correlates well with the facet of competency
within psychological empowerment. The personal recognition by CITs that they had
increased in their capacity to give greater team member consideration gave them a
sense that they were more competent as leaders. This paradigm shift also enabled
CITs to see better outcomes in team members taking greater ownership in job tasks
thereby adding to their sense of increased competency.
The results from team members not only revealed their increased feelings of
competency as leaders but increased feelings of making a significant difference
through their leadership. Therefore the increase in team member consideration
through executive coaching also corresponds with the psychological empowerment
facet of impact. It was stated, When I get the revelation myself its more
impacting so I can see coaching is really helping people get that revelation for
themselves. The leader recognised that when they discovered answers for
themselves this had a more lasting impact on them and that this was the very result
that they had been facilitating through using coaching techniques with their team
members. Executive coaching has therefore brought greater capacity for CITs by
developing team member consideration which in turn has developed the two
psychological empowerment facets of competency and impact.
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Use of more questions
One of the tools repeatedly mentioned by CITs as a benefit from executive
coaching was the use of more questions when working with others. It is likely from
the coach training that some of these questions were open-ended in nature, but the
analysis did not discover this type of questioning as a specific theme. The use of
questions was seen as a key to helping uncover root causes to issues that arose in the
workplace. For example it was stated, I explore how they are through questions.
Further evidence of this theme came from the comment,
My whole approach is different, so when I get there I just ask some
questions, out of that will come the directions I need to go to that should help
them I know a couple of cases that I will be able to quickly get to the issues
much quicker than the past and help them with some direction.
Responses like this showed greater appreciation for the use of more questions
and an awareness of how CITs were able to deal with deeper issues avoiding
previous mere symptomatic approaches. These responses reveal a shift to a genuine
commitment of using a questioning approach rather than using previous modes of
operation in leadership. The relationship between the use of more questions by CITs
and psychological empowerment will now be investigated.
Psychological empowerment and the use of questions
According to the CITs the greater use of questions are an effective tool to aid
in improved leadership with their team members. According to the responses given,
the use of questions are a tool for understanding more deeply the key issues within
team members and for discerning the necessary direction in discussing ways forward
for team members. These outcomes align well with the previous benefit of team
member consideration which promotes the two psychological empowerment facets
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of competency and impact. It is therefore not surprising to see the same two
psychological empowerment facets of competency and impact correlate with the use
of this tool.
Comments like, I will be able to quickly get to the issues, show an
increased sense of self-belief in having the competency to lead others more
effectively. Furthermore, comments such as, I just ask some questions - out of that
will come the directions, and I will be able to help them with some
direction, show a belief that CITs leadership interactions with their team members
will bring greater impact to their team members outcomes. Therefore, the use of
more questions as a result of executive coaching seems associated with an increase in
the psychological empowerment facets of competency and impact.
Clarifying of thoughts
Another theme that emerged from the data was the appreciation expressed by
CITs for being able to clarify their thoughts by talking things through in coaching
sessions. One participant referred to a new motto Success comes through speaking
things through as a reflection of a shift in thinking. This benefit was also noted by
the comments of others such as, Definitely the first thing would be the benefit of
being listened to, so you can work things out, and then have that reflected back to
you. When CITs had their thoughts clarified, discarding any dubious concepts
through discussions with their coach, there was an elevation in confidence levels
regarding forward direction. This effect of increased confidence is important
because it relates closely to the psychological empowerment facet of competency.
An analysis of this relationship between psychological empowerment and clarifying
of thoughts will be explored in more detail.
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Psychological empowerment and clarifying of thoughts
Coaches in training expressed gratitude for how executive coaching enabled
them to acquire clarity when analysing their thinking on various issues. When CITs
were able to clarify their thoughts it built confidence in their decision-making
capabilities building a sense of greater competency. CITs who had the opportunity
to openly express their leadership ideas and personal reflections, within the
boundaries of a confidential coaching relationship, were able to clarify
misconceptions. One participant expressed this benefit as, Getting an
understanding of how to better even explain to myself what I want to achieve. This
led to higher levels of confidence in decision making processes. CITs greater
certainty about their thought processes strengthened their belief in their capacity to
lead more effectively.
The conclusion that confidence levels relate closely to the psychological
empowerment facet of competency can be further supported through examining
question six in the semi-structured questionnaire which was constructed from
Spreitzers (1992) work. This question, Has being coached helped you to increase
your confidence about how you do your work? focuses on the amount of
confidence experienced in order to explore the facet of competency. It can
therefore be concluded that the data indicates that the clarifying of thoughts for CITs
with their executive coach produced higher levels of confidence, which in turn
increased the psychological empowerment facet of competency.
Personal accountability
Personal accountability within the executive coaching relationship also
surfaced as a perceived benefit for CITs. Knowing that their proposed action steps
would be discussed and reviewed in future coaching sessions helped CITs in
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following through with their commitments by staying focused on specific actions. A
participant declared, It really helped me, and because of that accountability thing,
you dont procrastinate because you know you have got to give an account. In
developing the coaching agreement with the executive coach each CIT discussed
with their coach the accountability level that would be used. Thus the accountability
experience in the relationship was not imposed by the executive coach but
collaboratively agreed upon for mutual success. Careful consideration was
employed in order to respect the CITs interpretation of helpful accountability. The
importance of the correlation between the accountability and the coaching
relationship can be further seen by the comment, The building of relationship and
an accountability structure has also been something that has been of great benefit to
me. Thus, it is important how the accountability structure is implemented: that it is
not imposed at a level which is seen by the person being coached as constricting. It
also seems necessary that an element of trust in relationship is present for a CIT to
submit to effective accountability.
Psychological empowerment and personal accountability
In regards to the relationship that personal accountability has with
psychological empowerment, some respondent statements were indicative of a
correlation with the facet of meaning. Personal meaning can be increased when an
individual has a sense of increased purpose in what they do. Conceptually, the
relationship between the facet of meaning and a sense of purpose can be recognised
from examining question four in the semi-structured questionnaire based on
Spreitzers (1992) research. This question simply asks about a participants sense of
purpose as a means of discovering their level of meaning. When asked about
whether coaching increased ones sense of purpose in ones work, one participant
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responded by saying, Yes - well, it gets back to that accountability. I think it has
done, because often I find myself thinking, Is this really relevant to where I am
heading, and I would say, Yes. It was through an accountability structure that
individuals checked upon their progress and felt motivated to meet the agreed
standard set in the executive coaching sessions. Thus, when CITs committed
themselves to be personally accountable they felt that they were more consistently in
line with their sense of purpose in their work. Hence, their development of
psychological empowerment increased as a result of executive coaching holding
them accountable to the important goals they had set.
Clear reproducible coaching process
The final pattern that surfaced in the data in this section discussing executive
coaching benefits was having a clear reproducible coaching process to follow when
working with coachees. It was seen as a positive benefit partly because it was a tool
that could be used in different contexts and something that was easily transferable to
other leaders (coachees). A participant spoke about the advantage of having a clear
reproducible process, So you can pass it on to somebody else who is able to pass it
on. The ease of reproducibility with the coaching process was seen as an added
advantage to leaders wanting to pass on the tools for developing others. This sense
of a clear reproducible coaching process to utilise when working with team members
helped CITs to feel more effective in their approach with others. Through
investigating the data in this area and comparing it with the four psychological
empowerment facets, the following results were obtained.
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Psychological empowerment and a clear reproducible coaching process
An examination of the data on the executive coaching benefit of a clear
reproducible coaching process with respect to the facets of psychological
empowerment revealed links to two specific facets: impact and competency. Having
a clear process in developing individual team members, as well as giving them
capacity to transfer their training to others, enabled CITs to feel they were making
more of an impact in their leadership. One CIT who was asked, Do you feel that
coaching has helped you have an increased impact upon the outcomes of your
organisation? replied, Being able to help people find clear actions and goals - it
just has been a very good process. Another participant who had mentored many
leaders previously stated, Now coaching has given a format or a tool where I am
able to work with leaders, so it has increased the impact. Moreover, as was
mentioned above, one participant commented on the ability to pass on the training to
others who could in turn do the same. These statements reveal increased feelings of
making an impact through the use of a reproducible coaching process.
The second facet evident in the data which related to a clear reproducible
coaching process was that of competency. A theme surfaced where participants
increased in personal confidence through being coached to pass on a reproducible
coaching process to others. Hence, the practice of passing on this reproducible
process, transferring complex learning to the leaders under them, brought increased
feelings of competency. It is also important to note that the semi-structured
questionnaire in this research developed from Spreitzers (1992) work showed a
strong correlation between the facet of competency and increased confidence. One
CIT spoke of receiving increased confidence from the coaching experience as if it
were a commodity that had produced an ability to go forward and set new goals.
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Furthermore, respondents mentioned a previous lack in confidence which produced a
feeling of being incapacitated and dispassionate about work and explained that
coaching enabled them to address obstacles one small step at a time until confidence
was either created or instilled once more through the process. This then brought an
increased competence to CITs to help their coachees to set appropriate goals and
address areas that were previously seen as insurmountable.
Conclusion on the broad benefits of executive coaching
Analysis of the 16 participants responses given regarding the question on the
broad benefits received through executive coaching revealed seven themes, all of
which related to leaders implementing coaching techniques (Kilburg, 1996).
However, the key focus of this qualitative study is that of executive coaching and its
effect on psychological empowerment, specifically, the developmental nature of
psychological empowerment through executive coaching. Of the seven benefits
discovered, six showed a relationship with psychological empowerment: goal-
setting, team member consideration, more use of questions, clarifying of ideas,
accountability and a clear reproducible coaching process. Since most (six out of
seven) of the perceived benefits of executive coaching in this study were related to
psychological empowerment, it can be concluded that executive coaching, when used
to develop coaching skills in leaders, is likely to be an effective tool for developing
psychologically empowered leaders. The seventh benefit which did not reveal an
obvious relationship with increasing psychological empowerment was the coaching
relationship itself, although it was seen as a great resource by leaders. The next step
in the analysis of the qualitative data will be an investigation of leaders perceptions
of the relationship between their coaching experience and each of the four facets of
psychological empowerment.
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Examining the four facets of empowerment through executive coaching
It has been established that an analysis of the perceived benefits of executive
coaching depicts coaching as a psychologically empowering process. The analysis
will now focus on examining the data emerging from specific questions centring on
psychological empowerment as depicted by its four facets. The Four facets of
psychological empowerment will be analysed in the following order: meaning,
impact, self-determination and competency (Spreitzer, 1992).
The semi-structured questionnaire contained eight questions which focused
on the four facets of psychological empowerment. Two questions were allocated to
collect data for each facet. Additionally, the executive coaching being examined in
this study was designed to enable leaders to use coaching skills in their work with
other leaders in their organisation. The data does show there are positive affects
being experienced at the midway point from executive coaching in all four of the
facets of psychological empowerment.
Although clear positive themes did emerge when examining the data on all
four facets, the facet of meaning yielded the weakest overall response compared to
the other three facets. Each facet was first examined by asking two questions (16
participants x 2 questions each = 32 responses) with an initial yes or no response and
then further open-ended probing questions were used. The interviews on the facet of
meaning yield a 50% yes and no response, while the next least total yes
response was 70.83%. This statistic clearly reveals that in this sample group
executive coaching had the least effect on the psychological facet of meaning. In
spite of this facet being the least experienced by CITs, out of sixteen CITs
interviewed only three answered No to both questions on the facet of meaning,
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revealing that most CITs experienced some increase in their sense of meaning
through being coached.
It is important to note that the general consensus of the group regarding the
facet of meaning was that they felt it would be very difficult to increase this area
because they strongly resonated with the values of the not-for-profit organisation in
which they worked. An in depth analysis of the sample groups responses follows
together with reported themes that emerged.
The facet of meaning from executive coaching
The qualitative study will now analyse the responses from participants to
interview questions concerning their perceptions of any increased meaning at work
from executive coaching. In gathering data on the facet of meaning two sets of
questions, including follow-up probing questions to bring further clarity, were posed
to participants. The first question that was posed was, Some people say that
coaching has helped them to find more meaning in their work having been coached
to this point, how you respond to this statement? The second question posed was,
Do you feel that coaching has increased your personal sense of purpose about what
happens in your work if so, what is there about the coaching that has caused this
change? In response to these questions, participants gave several reasons as to why
they felt a sense of increased meaning through executive coaching. Three specific
themes emerged from an analysis of the data: increased congruence of personal work
values with ones day to day work activities, increased sense of ongoing progress,
and an increase in a more positive emotional state. These three outcomes will now
be explored in order to clarify the relationship between executive coaching and the
developmental nature of psychological empowerment.
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Increased meaning through congruence of work values with work activities
One theme that emerged from analysing the responses to the questions on
meaning related to work becoming more relevant to the participants values that led
them to their role in the first place. The comment, I found my work becoming more
relevant to what I believe in, illustrates this emerging insight. Other comments
revealed previous hurts that had been hindering whole-hearted dedication to their
work, and explained how executive coaching had helped to overcome this and
reconnect with their original purpose within work. This is to be distinguished from
personal resonation with the values of the organisation and to focus more on
connecting personal work ideals with the day to day working experience.
It became apparent that executive coaching brought more meaning into the
work-life of CITs through creating greater insight between their values of what was
important to them at work and the relevance of their current work activities. This
shift occurred through two different avenues. The first was through re-evaluating the
perceptions being made about work and bringing a more positive perspective to what
they were already doing. One participant commented, Coaching has been one of
the things that have helped me refocus. The second avenue of change occurred
through receiving increased results via executive coaching, which then increased the
feelings of meaning through narrowing the gap between day to day outcomes and
personal work values.
Increased meaning through an ongoing sense of progress
A second theme that emerged within the facet of meaning was an increased
feeling of progress. This meant that CITs felt an increased sense of achieving more
for themselves personally in their place of work. A comment that illustrates this was,
Coaching for me helps me to move forward so that that makes work meaningful
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because there are actually goals and things in place to reach out towards. So thats
got to do with progress. Comments like this show a sense of meaning being
developed through executive coaching by supporting ongoing progress within the
workplace. This feeling can also be developed through executive coaching even
when there is no obvious increased achievement of work outcomes. For example a
comment was made, It has helped me remove some of the frustration and so then
work has become more meaningful. While the former comment speaks about
progressing forward in aiming for and achieving greater work goals, the latter
comment verbalised removing that which stops feelings of forward progress.
However, one would assume that the minimising of frustration and increasing of
feelings of meaningfulness would produce greater work outcomes (Goldsmith, 2004;
Sherin & Caiger, 2004). Executive coaching therefore develops higher levels of
meaning in leaders fostering increases in psychological empowerment through
helping them develop a greater sense of progress in their place of work.
Increased meaning as a result of a more positive emotional state
A third theme surfacing from the data was increased meaning from an
improved emotional state resulting from good changes that had occurred through
executive coaching. Thus it was stated that through being coached, Work has
become more meaningful because its become more enjoyable. Another comment
made by a CIT concerning their team was, Im getting such a thrill out of seeing
them start from scratch and actually start to achieve things. These comments
demonstrate an emotional condition occurring from achieving positive change
through executive coaching which developed greater meaning. Therefore the
positive emotional state resulting from the outcomes of executive coaching increased
the feeling of the psychological empowerment facet of meaning.
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In concluding the analysis of the data on the facet of meaning, it was
discovered that the effect of executive coaching on the facet of meaning was the least
of all the four facets of psychological empowerment. Nevertheless, it was revealed
that executive coaching did produce increases in three specific outcomes which
influenced an increase in the psychological empowerment facet of meaning.
According to participants, the three specific outcomes connected with the facet of
meaning are an increase in the congruence of personal work values with day to day
work activities, an increase in the ongoing sense of progress and an increase in a
more positive emotional state. It was discovered not only that executive coaching
produced these three results, but that these three results produced higher levels of
meaning adding to the development of psychological empowerment.
The facet of impact from executive coaching
The study revealed that executive coaching also promotes the development of the
psychological empowerment facet of impact. The study included two groupings of
questions to gather data on this facet. The first question/s was, Do you feel that
coaching has helped you have an increased impact upon the outcomes your
organisation is producing please explain? What, in your coaching experience, do
you think has brought about this feeling? The second question/s posed to
participants was, Has coaching enabled you to increase your feelings of how much
you make a difference in your work? Please expand on reasons for your answer?
An analysis of the data revealed that executive coaching produced three themes
which caused CITs to feel their contribution to the organisation was making an
increased impact: an increased focus on developing leaders, personal rejuvenation,
and use of a structured coaching approach. These three outcomes will now be
examined in more detail.
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Increased impact through an improved focus on team member development
A key change in the major focus of the CITs that occurred through executive
coaching was toward greater leadership development of their team members. CITs
attributed the shift in their focus directly to executive coaching, which in turn
increased their sense of the impact they were making upon their team members.
When participants were asked whether they felt they were making an impact and
asked to give reasons for this response, one comment was, Yes, spending more time
with key people. Another respondent, in discussing their focus on coaching their
key leaders, stated, I can see it is of benefit, because it has helped me get my
leaders more focused in where we need to go.
An examination of the data suggests that the change in focus upon developing
greater leadership capacity in team members was caused by two factors. The first
cause was the increased strategic focus that the executive coach enabled the CIT to
discover, which lead to more time focussing on developing key people. The second
cause was due to the coaching program itself which required CITs to spend
significant development time with their key people. Spending more quality time
with their key people revealed to them the importance of investing in key personnel.
This concept was further expressed by the comment, Its provided that one hour of
regular structured committed contact. Thus CITs, through learning coaching skills
in this particular program, had produced a greater and more effective focus upon
developing leaders. This came through a change in strategic priorities and
participation in a regular, committed, set time to meet one-to-one with team
members. It was this change in focus upon leadership development of team
members through executive coaching which caused CITs to view their leadership
contribution as having a greater impact.
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Increased impact through personal rejuvenation
Some CITs shared their experience of having a dispassionate attitude creep
into their work. A theme emerged that coaching aided the process of dealing with
these attitudes and accompanying feelings, rejuvenating a fresh commitment to their
work. This interpretation was reflected by the following two responses:
Ive come from a dry time and feel like you dont make an impact, and feel
like Whats the point? - Is my time here up? So coaching comes along and
starts to give you a set of eyes that you can actually tweak things and make a
difference. So yes coaching has helped that way.

I got to begin doing the things that made me feel alive again rather than just
doing all the drab stuff that you have got to get done; it always seems to be in
the road of what you want to do.

Hence, the experience of working with an executive coach enabled CITs to
recognise their dispassionate feelings about their work and to reconnect with more
meaningful elements within their existing work. They were then able to improve
upon their depleted motivational desires about their work. As one CIT stated, The
thing coaching has done for me is its just re-empowered me again; so that then
transfers into the life of the organisation. Thus CITs, who had for various reasons
become dispassionate about their work, found executive coaching bringing
significant support to rediscover their passion for their work. In turn, this brought a
sense of personal rejuvenation in their work that affected their sense of making a
difference within the organisation.
Increased impact through using a structured approach
A further outcome from executive coaching, which increased the sense of
impact for CITs, was using a structured approach with their team members. When it
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came to making an impact, participants perceived that having a clear coaching
process brought a clear means for leadership development, which therefore brought
an increased impact upon results. CITs, through appropriating a clear coaching
framework in working with their team members, felt that their leadership
development of their team members had become more intentional and effective. One
CIT declared, I found with the coaching it has given me a really, really good clear
structure I have a pattern to use in bringing out the best in leaders. Although
participants readily acknowledged that they were serious about team member
development, there was an admission that having a clear coaching framework had
made them feel that their developmental approach had improved bringing a greater
impact upon the results. As one respondent replied to the question on impact, I
would probably still see them (team members) and I would ring them up, but the
coaching has given that structure to it. This theme of having a clear intentional
process to work with team members was seen as an important aspect to increasing
the facet of impact.
One participant who has been working strategically with a number of
significant leaders over many years stated, Coaching has given it (leadership
development) in a format or in a tool where I am able to now work with these key
leaders so it has increased the impact. A comment that pointed to having a clear
process as being a catalyst for increased intentionality was, Its given me a
framework just to be very deliberate. In some areas, where I felt like I was just
wandering around, theres more direction. CITs having been taught coaching
skills and seen them modelled by executive coaches were given a structured means
to develop their own leaders. The structure spoken about by participants involved
both the intentionality of regular coaching sessions with team members and the key
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components addressed in each coaching session. Hence the use of the learned
coaching framework brought a feeling of greater impact to the CITs.
Analysis of the data from the two impact questions in the semi-structured
questionnaire has highlighted four outcomes from executive coaching which
influence the facet of impact: improved performance of team members, improved
focus of CIT in developing leaders, the CITs personal rejuvenation and using a
structured coaching approach with team members. Each one of the four outcomes
was viewed by CITs as a means of improving their sense of impact. Thus executive
coaching, by facilitating these four outcomes, has contributed to the developmental
process of psychological empowerment within leaders.
The facet of self-determination from executive coaching
In gathering the data on how executive coaching aided in the development of
the psychological empowerment facet of self-determination, two sets of questions
were used. The first set of questions was, Has being coached enabled you to use
more, or less, personal initiative within your place of work please explain? The
second set of questions to help gather more data was, As a result of being coached,
do you feel that you have more control, or less control over the direction you choose
for yourself in your place of work? The data revealed four specific outcomes as a
result of executive coaching which correlate with the psychological facet of self-
determination. The first outcome from executive coaching was a stronger focus on
developing team members. The second outcome from executive coaching was the
newly developed use of coaching as a method for working with team members. The
third outcome from executive coaching was the ability of the CIT to remove self-
imposed restrictions upon their own beliefs of what they could achieve, and the final
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outcome that increased the psychological empowerment facet of self-determination
was setting clear priorities to motivate the CITs decision-making.
Increased self-determination through a focus on team member development
An outcome from executive coaching, which increased a sense of self-
determination within CITs was a stronger focus on team member development. This
focus caused CITs to witness the improvement of their team members development
through the practice of using coaching techniques. Adding further to this process
was the fact that the executive coaching program also created the occasion for CITs
to remain committed to this type of team member development throughout the
duration of the intervention. As a result it contributed to personal paradigm shifts
within CITs to gain a stronger focus upon team member development as a critical
factor for leadership success. It was the continuous focus and implementation upon
these areas of team members development that produced a stronger feeling of self-
determination. CITs felt they were more proactive in developing their team
members in their place of work because of their experience of seeing them develop
through coaching them.
Further, during the time of being coached each executive coach worked with
each CIT to think through how they could best improve as a leader in order to
improve team members development. Hence, the occasion created in the executive
coaching program for CITs to remain committed to ongoing team member
development, coupled with executive coaching insights into leadership improvement
approaches, produced leadership paradigm shifts. These shifts caused CITs to take
more personal initiative in developing their team members. This experience of
undergoing a paradigm shift to focus more upon team members development was
expressed through various comments. One CIT spoke of how they had become more
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assertive toward team members through working with their coach in leadership
effectiveness. It was stated, I can see that its made me use more personal initiative
with the people I am coaching. Ive realized that there were a few areas that I
needed to step up in, because I am a very non-controlling person. It was through
being coached that CITs recognised they needed to change some of their approaches
in order to achieve the desired outcomes with team members.
Other shifts in thinking toward team member development involved releasing
more responsibility to team members for their growth and the growth of the
organisation. This sentiment was expressed through the comment:
I am finding now that I am far more confident and comfortable in releasing
initiative to other people in my organisation. For me that is an initiative that I
have taken so I dont have to do everything or think of everything. I just sort
of am confident to pass it on.

It was through executive coaching that CITs produced a greater confidence to
delegate to team members both as a means of achieving greater organisational results
and as a method of improving team member capacity. Therefore, as a result of the
coaching intervention focusing on team member development CITs gained greater
initiative in developing their team members, increasing their sense of the facet of
self-determination.
Increased self-determination through using a coaching approach
The use of a coaching approach has been a significant tool to help CITs gain
a sense of greater self-determination in their place of work. It was commented that a
coaching approach with team members gave them a sense of greater ability to gain
team member buy-in to the organisation because it strengthened individual
commitments toward organisational core values. Coaching itself was a means of
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aiding CITs in achieving a greater promotion of and implementation of
organisational core values at a personal level. One participant, in discussing the
question of how much control they felt they had in leadership as a result of being
coached, stated:
More control, based on the fact that we had a value system and coaching is
just the tool that helps us to facilitate that value system, so its not as though
through coaching that I am now going to abandon things and do things
another way ... it has enhanced what we are doing.

Others found that the use of coaching in the executive coaching program in
order to develop leaders was so helpful with their required coachees that they started
to voluntarily use it with other staff members for their improvement. Therefore, one
CIT, in replying to the self-determination question on taking initiative stated, Yes
more initiative, because I have used coaching, not only with the two people that I am
required to coach to be accredited, but I also am now using it amongst my staff to
draw out their potential. Thus a coaching approach in leadership has produced a
sense of greater ability to direct leadership initiatives by leading others in more
effective ways. This particular executive coaching outcome, instead of focussing on
specific coaching techniques, centred on the use of a coaching approach in the way
CITs dealt with a variety of people and relationships. This was an approach which
saw their team members as individuals with a significant amount of answers to their
problems residing within them which just needed to be drawn out and developed into
concrete solutions.
Increased self-determination through removing self-imposed restrictions
Through further questioning of participants regarding the facet of self-
determination another theme emerged. The theme concerned internal self-imposed
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restrictions CITs placed upon themselves resulting from a lack of self-belief. It was
through the process of being coached that CITs were able to safely discover these
restrictions and explore possible causes and remedies. As CITs overcame these self-
imposed restrictions they felt a greater sense of control, being able to better
determine their future direction. One comment reflective of this experience was:
Definitely more control, because I am much more aware of the situation. I
am not restricted within myself in thinking, Well I cant do this, or I cant do
that. Or if I do hit one of those blockages, I have to start to really address it
and find out why I am feeling that or experiencing that to go past it. So the
coaching has given me the tools to actually overcome any one of those
hurdles.

This comment showed how awareness of the obstacle and an increased
capacity to deal with hurdles aided the participants to move forward, while the
following comment speaks about how coaching enabled participants who had lost
confidence to slowly regain it one small step at a time.
Coming from a lack of confidence feeling like that thing is just too hard,
its in the too hard basket, so I cant do it. I cant address it; I wont address
it. Coaching has helped me to feel like we can take a nibble at it and just
address it bit by bit rather than deal with the thing in the whole, all in one go.
Yes, it has helped that way.

Comments like, cant, wont, too hard, reveal a mindset of internal
self-imposed restrictions and coaching aided CITs to recognise these restrictions and
counteract them in order to give more control over the direction of their future.
Increased self-determination through setting clear priorities
When CITs worked with an executive coach, there was a common experience
with many concerning the need to develop clearer priorities in order to focus their
energies on the things that would bring the most benefit. When CITs felt that they
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had clearer priorities to govern their day-to-day activities there was an increase in the
feeling of being in more control of their future.
When being asked about whether coaching brought more or less control in
their life, one CIT stated, Myself, I think more control because you can just see a
greater potential: youre looking at bigger things and seeing the bigger picture and
all that gives you more options. Another similar comment was:
Yes definitely more. Yes, as I said, all the peripheral stuff does not get
clogged in there anymore and I think there is a greater ability to look at
whats really got to be done. And the whole questioning process and talking
things through, that pulls away any of that junk. It lets you get on with the
really important stuff.

Hence, in order for CITs to feel that they had more control over their future
direction within their place of work, they needed to feel they had control over
focussing their energies on the key result areas within their work role.
Analysis of the data of the psychological empowerment facet of self-
determination revealed four areas which can increase the feeling of being in more
control to direct ones future. In this particular study the executive coaching
program itself with all the supportive and interactive components was a major
catalyst for increasing the feeling of self-determination, especially the committed
timeframe to work with team members and the reflective leadership discussions with
the coach. Second, the use of coaching as a tool for working with leaders and
developing team members was seen as a means of increasing self-determination.
Third, through discussions with the executive coach, CITs were able to work at
recognising and removing self-imposed restrictions for future progress. Finally, the
fourth executive coaching outcome that increased the facet of self-determination was
the setting of clear priorities within their place of work. Thus executive coaching,
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through producing these four outcomes, has caused an increase in the facet of self-
determination, adding to the overall development of psychological empowerment.
The facet of competency from executive coaching
The gathering of data on the psychological empowerment facet of
competency was collected through using two specific sets of questions within the
semi-structured questionnaire. The two sets of questions used for this purpose were,
Has being coached helped you to increase your confidence about how you do your
work - why, or why not? and, Do you feel that your abilities to do your work have
increased through being coached please explain? The data manifested four
outcome themes from executive coaching which increased a feeling within CITs of
being more competent in their work roles. The four executive coaching outcomes
discovered from the data which promote a sense of increased competency were
having clear work priorities, using coaching techniques (regularly utilising elements
within coaching) with team members, using a clear coaching structure (competent
with the newly learned coaching framework to assist others) and using a coaching
approach (an attitude toward team members to listen and draw them out). The
analysis will now expand on these findings discussing the growing nature of the
feelings of competency through the CITs experiences of being coached.
Increased competency through having clear work priorities
Analysis of the responses to the two interview questions regarding
competency revealed a correlation between competency and having clear set
priorities. When CITs had clear set priorities to follow in their place of work they
felt more competent in their work. Once CITs clarified their work priorities it
allowed them to clear away the peripheral activities that consumed some of their
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valuable time. Participants spoke about how they were able to clear their schedule of
the time wasters and be involved in the activities that produced greater results and
aligned more with their goals. One participant commented:
We basically looked at a lot of things that were chewing up my time, and
worked out ways to delegate them to other people, or to do them in such a
way that they were smaller and took less time still achieving the same amount
of results. So actually some of the jobs got reduced down to the bare
minimum, but they still fulfilled what they were doing and then other things
got passed on.

Another participant commented on having been able to improve their abilities
to work with their schedule in working with team members:
I am actually fitting the coaching into my schedule so I have increased
my abilities to actually put it in my schedule because I know its just going to
be so significant for my future and helping other people It is better in my
actual work schedule and not that I ever waste any time.

Thus, CITs felt more competent in their work because they had reprioritised
what they focussed on and were able to readjust their work schedule to suit.
One response referred to gaining confidence through feeling increased self-
regard as a result of an adjusted schedule incorporating more of the things that
aligned with inner values. The comment was made, I think my confidence has
increased simply because I feel better about myself, I dont feel like I am failing,
because I just cant get through. The CIT was able to readjust their schedule to
better support the accomplishment of organisational outcomes and also incorporate
areas of focus that gave them a sense of greater time management at work. Thus
executive coaching brought greater capacity for leaders to sort their priorities and
reflect this in their working schedules, which brought a greater sense of competency.
It was simply put by one participant that executive coaching had brought, More
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focus, more clarity, pulling away all the peripheral stuff and getting on with the
really important stuff.
Increased competency through using coaching techniques
Investigating the data from the responses to questions on the facet of
competency also revealed a theme where CITs felt an increase in their competency
through the use of coaching techniques within their leadership. There was no
singular technique that surfaced but rather a small amount of rudimentary coaching
activities. The key areas that were mentioned were activities like listening more,
drawing people out to discover key issues, asking more questions and aiding team
members to discover their own solutions. These practices exercised by leaders
brought greater feelings of competency in their work. These responses and how they
relate to the facet of competency will now undergo closer examination.
CITs experienced a sense of increase in their competencies through the use
of several techniques that made them feel like more effective leaders in their work.
One common coaching technique (although none of the techniques mentioned are
restricted to coaching perse) is the practice of intently listening to individual team
members. A comment reflecting this thought was, Now I am really listening I
come out of a telling culture not out of a listening culture and changing to a listening
culture so for that I think yes we are growing.
In regards to the technique of helping team members find their own
solutions the comment was made, Yes, I think for the reason that, the reality is, we
dont have to have the answers, but we just have to know how we find the answers or
help lead the person to find the answers, and I think that is liberating.


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Another comment that covered several techniques was:
I feel more at ease now that Im coaching them and drawing the best out
of them... making them think about their work ... just the way the questions
that you ask get into their life is definitely helping me in that area... how to
talk to people and dig a bit deeper into peoples lives ... finding out what is
there.

The executive coaching training program passed on to CITs the necessary
techniques for coaching and the use of some of these foundational coaching activities
had given CITs a sense that they were more competent as a result. Further, having a
clear process enabled CITs to have more constructive conversations with team
members and to be consistently intentional and effective in helping them achieve
personal and organisational objectives, contributing to greater feelings of
competency.
Increased competency through using a coaching structure
A further outcome from executive coaching that increased CITs feelings of
being more competent in their work was the use of a coaching structure taught in the
training and modelled in the coaching. CITs had learned to use a structured
approach in the executive coaching program and in using this felt more competent
within their role. The elements that made up the structure that were mentioned were
items such as a specific regular coaching appointment, pre-planned questions
focussing on previously discussed work outcomes, setting up a coach / coachee
agreement, recording post session notes, setting action-steps and accountability of
action-steps. When CITs were able to incorporate this structure within their
leadership of their team members it gave them a greater feeling of competency in
their work.
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The analysis will now focus on the use of the training programs coaching
structure and how it related to increasing feelings of competency in CITs. One
response from a participant feeling more competent through the increased capacity to
use the training programs coaching structure stated:
When it comes to coaching and mentoring, yes a lot more pre planning
has gone into it before sessions I think I put a lot more thought into it, and
after sessions, and reflecting absolutely, going through and writing reports
that has been a really, really good discipline it is having the structure,
having the planning, the reflecting afterwards and all that.

All of these elements made up the coaching structure as a part of the required tasks
within the coach-training program. Thus being both trained and coached in the use
of this structure with all its elements was a significant part of their feeling more
competent to coach and lead their team members.
Another similar comment reflecting this thought was, Talking with people
knowing that we have got that coach, coachee relationship ... thats given me
confidence in those meetings, not so much in myself but in the process. It was the
use of a clear process which enabled CITs to see a clear path forward when working
with their team members, which brought a sense of confidence in their leadership.
Another comment reflecting a strong sense of increased competency through using a
coaching structure was, Yes thats absolute, because its a strong tool, so in terms
of ability or skilling it has directly increased that. This increased the psychological
empowerment facet of competency adding to the overall increase of psychological
empowerment.
Increased competency through using a coaching approach
Whilst the two previous executive coaching outcomes relating to the facet of
competency focused on elements of the coaching process (techniques and structure),
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the next focuses on a process within the respondents, namely a shift in mindset
affecting the approach taken to work with others. Some of the participants in
responding to the questions on the facet of competency took a broader view in what
brought them greater competency, seeing the coaching approach as having
application in some way with many, perhaps all, people in their sphere of influence.
For example one comment stated, I think in our work you are confronted with
people who come to you with their lives and their issues, and I am now attacking it
from a different point of view after being coached compared to how I would have
approached it before. It was also stated, Confidence increased because I can talk
to my people in new ways and my leaders in new ways.
CITs, therefore, began to use a coaching approach in many of their influential
relationships and spoke of how it impacted the way they interrelated with others.
The approach learned through being trained in how to coach - being coached and
coaching others - had a significant affect upon CITs where they employed a coaching
approach as a way to be more effective in their work. These statements reveal the
overall coaching approach adopted by CITs through executive coaching which
contributed to a subsequent increase in feeling more competent to do their job and
relate to others.
Analysis of the responses given by CITs on how executive coaching affects
the psychological empowerment facet of competency revealed four variables which
contribute to the feeling of being more capable to do assigned work: obtaining clear
work priorities, employing coaching techniques with team members, utilising a clear
coaching structure in their leadership, and using a coaching approach as a way of
relating to many people within their sphere of influence. This concludes the
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examination of the data collected from the semi-structured interviews; a summary
will now be presented of the conclusions made in this analysis.
Summary of qualitative analysis
The results of this analysis revealed themes that emerged out of the broad
outcomes from executive coaching and exhibited conceptual connections with the
facets of psychological empowerment. Confirmation of the strength of these
conceptions was made through comparing them with specific comments of CITs and
following qualitative validity and reliability procedures (Lee, 1992).
The expressed broad benefits received by CITs at the midway point in the
executive coaching intervention were:
1. better goal-setting for self and others
2. greater team member consideration
3. effective use of questions
4. getting thoughts clarified
5. personal accountability for outcomes
6. clear reproducible coaching process to use with leaders
7. quality of the coaching relationship.
The only broad benefit which did not have an obvious relationship with
psychological empowerment was the (7) quality of the coaching relationship.
The specific executive coaching outcomes, at the midway point, which
revealed a direct relationship to at least one of the four facets of psychological
empowerment were:
1. Congruence of personal work values with day to day work activities
2. an ongoing sense of progress in work
3. production of a more positive emotional state
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4. increasing the focus on developing team members
5. personal rejuvenation
6. use of structured coaching with team members
7. of coaching techniques with team members
8. use of a coaching approach as a paradigm shift
9. removal of self-imposed restrictions
10. setting of clear work priorities.
A summary of the analysis of the qualitative data appears below in Table 4.5 which
outlines the outcomes from executive coaching and correlates them with the
particular psychological empowerment facets with which they are associated. As can
be further noted from this analysis, a number of the executive coaching outcomes
relate to more than one of the facets of psychological empowerment. This
phenomenon will be further discussed in the next chapter and implications drawn for
the practice of executive coaching. The findings from the analysis of both the
quantitative and qualitative study will now be discussed and some helpful
conclusions made.
















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Table 4.5 - List of executive coaching outcomes that lead to greater
psychological empowerment as divided into its four facets, from the analysis

1. Competency

Team member consideration (S)
Use of transferable coaching
process (S)
Goal-setting for leader and team
members (S)
Using coaching approach (S)
Use of more questions (S)
Setting clear work priorities (S)
Using coaching techniques
Clarifying leaders thoughts

2. Self-determination

Goal-setting for leader and team
members (S)
Improved focus on team member
development (S)
Setting clear work priorities (S)
Using coaching approach (S)
Remove self-imposed restrictions


3. Impact

Team member consideration (S)
Use of transferable coaching
process (S)
Use of more questions (S)
Improved focus on team member
development (S)
Personal rejuvenation
Using clear coaching structure to
develop team members

4. Meaning

Personal accountability to goals
Alignment of work values with
day to day work activities
Ongoing sense of progress
More positive emotional state
(S) When executive coaching outcomes are (S)hared with other psychological empowerment facets











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Chapter 5 Discussion
Introduction
The purpose of this research was to explore the effectiveness of executive
coaching as a tool for developing leaders through it being implemented as an
organisation-wide integrated long-term strategy. The study specifically examined
both the behavioural effects upon leaders and psychological affects within leaders. It
also explored whether these outcomes would produce a flow on effect to other
leaders within the same organisation who were being coached by these leaders.
Furthermore, this research explored the developmental nature of psychological
empowerment through the utilisation of executive coaching. The research design
allowed for a comparison of both the quantitative and qualitative results, revealing
some positive findings.
Executive coaching has been exponentially increasing as a developmental
tool for leaders over the last two decades and this study wanted to contribute further
to the growing body of research on executive coaching through exploring its
effectiveness (Grant, 2009). This research project was designed to contribute to the
current body of knowledge through investigating specific areas of leadership
development and their relationship to executive coaching.
There are specific important employee characteristics that research has
indicated are desired qualities within employees in order to prevent negative
outcomes: higher intention to turnover (Meyer & Allen, 1991), low job performance
(Christen, Iyer, & Soberman, 2006), lack of motivation, scant innovation and
negligible employee engagement (Spreitzer, 1995b). Therefore this study chose to
explore whether executive coaching was an effective tool to counteract these
negative outcomes through any positive associations it may have with the qualities of
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increased leader-empowering behaviours, psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment. Increasing these behavioural and
psychological qualities have collectively demonstrated positive outcomes in
innovation (Spreitzer, 1992), lower intention to turnover (Meyer & Allen, 1991),
higher employee engagement and increased motivation (Spreitzer, 1992).
Research findings
The qualitative study investigated leaders perceptions on ways that executive
coaching affected their feelings of empowerment; an overall positive result was
discovered. Executive coaching produced specific outcomes which were associated
with Thomas and Velthouses (1990) four facets of psychological empowerment,
specifically: meaningfulness, impact, choice and competency. As was discussed
from previous literature it was expected that coaching applications would enable
leaders to think, feel and behave more effectively, creating better outcomes for them
along with their team members (Goldsmith, 2004). These positive changes in leaders
did occur.
Moreover, because the executive coaching intervention focussed on
developing coaching capacity in leaders, the key outcomes related to shifts in
behaviour, feelings and thinking were predominantly related to rudimentary coaching
practices. Thus, some of the specific outcomes from leaders receiving executive
coaching (see full list in Table 5.2) were goal-setting, prioritising and focusing on
their team members which contributed to a greater sense of psychological
empowerment (Table 5.3).
The quantitative study revealed an association between executive coaching
and significant positive changes in leaders (CITs) behaviours. This increase was
specifically found in leader-empowering behaviours developed by Konczak et al.
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(2000), namely, delegation, accountability, self-directed decision-making,
information and knowledge sharing, skill development and coaching for innovative
performance. Furthermore, the literature had strongly associated these behaviours
with the four facets of psychological empowerment as assessed by Spreitzers (1992)
measure. Hence this study supports an association between leader-empowering
behaviours and psychological empowerment.
Previously, Luthans and Petersons (2003) research gave evidence of a flow
on effect occurring through executive coaching, which gave reason for it to be
expected in this study. This study did demonstrate a flow on effect; however, the
effect was only demonstrated with the variable of psychological empowerment
because of suspected contextual factors. This result was demonstrated by comparing
CITs coachees pre coaching mean results with their post coaching results, revealing
a significant increase in their feelings of empowerment.
The final two findings related to specific foci in the coaching relationship and
the coach delivering the coaching. According to Grant (2010) a significant aspect of
effective executive coaching is collaborative goal-setting. This research supported
this, revealing that coaching which catered more specifically for setting collaborative
goals, including felt needs and other personal developmental issues, along with
organisational objectives, increased a sense of psychological empowerment. In
regards to the coach delivering the coaching, in line with the literature on internal
versus external coaching (Finn, 2007; Wasylyshyn, 2003), there are restrictions on
amounts of confidentiality available to coachees. Hence, the more a coach working
with a leader had supervisory authority over the employee being coached the less
they felt a sense of personal empowerment from being coached. These research
findings will now be discussed in more depth.
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Testing the five hypotheses put forth in this research has manifested the
following six findings for the field of executive coaching.
1. It was revealed that after executive coaching leaders perceived that
they were exercising significant improvement in their leader-
empowering behaviours with their team members.
2. Executive coaching was found to be an effective leadership
development tool for developing more psychologically empowered
leaders.
3. There was a positive psychological flow on effect from coached
leaders onto their coachees resulting in increased coachee
psychological empowerment, bringing implications to organisations
wanting to cascade coaching skills across multiple levels of staff.
4. The qualitative study revealed that a number of executive coaching
outcomes, attested to by leaders being coached, were associated with
increased levels of psychological empowerment. These findings
contributed further theoretical knowledge to the developmental nature
of psychological empowerment through executive coaching.
5. The type of coaching paradigm used with leaders allowing for a focus
upon felt needs was a significant variable influencing psychological
empowerment levels within leaders.
6. The supervisory authority level inherent in the person who had
conducted coaching had an inverse relationship with psychological
empowerment levels in the person who had been coached. These
results along with further practical contributions will be discussed in
more depth below in this chapter.
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Hypotheses
In order to draw conclusions from the analyses made in both the quantitative
and qualitative studies, this discussion will commence by exploring the hypotheses in
the quantitative study. It will also inter-disperse some of the outcomes from the
qualitative study within the discussion, where it relates to specific hypotheses. Some
aspects of the fifth hypothesis will be addressed along with the first hypothesis where
overlap exists because of the common reference to three psychological outcomes.
However, the unrelated flow on effect of hypothesis five will be discussed near the
end of this section under its own heading. Finally, from the results of the qualitative
study the developmental nature of psychological empowerment from executive
coaching will be discussed. This will occur through considering the executive
coaching outcomes, expressed by CITs, and their relationship with the four faceted
construct of psychological empowerment. Further, this process will also trace back
to the specific executive coaching elements that were associated with particular
executive coaching outcomes drawing theoretical conclusions.
The findings in the quantitative study concerning the five hypotheses are
summarised in Table 5.1 below.








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Table 5.1- Outline of hypotheses

Hypothesis Not
Supported
Partial
Support
1. After executive coaching, leaders would
show greater positive affect in psychological
empowerment, job satisfaction and
affective commitment.




2. After executive coaching, leaders would
demonstrate higher self-report ratings of
their leader-empowering behaviours, and as
these behaviours increase, their
psychological empowerment levels will
increase.

3. After executive coaching, leaders would
demonstrate higher leader-empowering
behaviours as rated by their team member.

4. After executive coaching, leaders would
show greater positive affect in psychological
empowerment, as it increased so too would
job satisfaction and affective commitment.

5. After executive coaching, leaders working
with their team members would see a
greater positive affect in their team
members psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment.


























Findings for hypothesis one and related elements in hypothesis five
The first hypothesis predicted that executive coaching would significantly
improve leaders psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and affective
commitment levels. Similarly, hypothesis five predicted that coachees would
improve in the psychological affects of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction
and affective commitment as a flow on effect from being coached by their leaders.
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Relationship between executive coaching and psychological empowerment
There was an unexpected finding of a statistically non significant result
between the relationship of executive coaching and psychological empowerment
with CITs. However, despite this result, there was a positive effect which was close
to statistical significance (p = .06). It is possible that the non significant finding with
CITs was due to low statistical power through the small sample size being used
(Cohen & Kazdin, 2003). To add further weight to this argument, the findings from
the qualitative study, revealed executive coaching as having a positive association
with all four facets of psychological empowerment.
This finding is important because there is a dearth of current research on the
relationship between these two variables and it indicates that executive coaching is a
leadership development tool that can enable greater feelings of empowerment to be
engendered within leaders. In combination with the literature showing that
psychologically empowered employees see themselves as more effective and that
those with whom they work evaluate them in the same way (Quinn & Spreitzer,
1997), this finding has important implications for organisations seeking more
psychologically empowered employees.
Specifically, fast-paced organisations with more organic structures looking to
create employees who are more equipped to make front-line decisions, encourage
greater innovation, and be less inhibited in undertaking new actions could utilise
executive coaching to develop greater employee psychological empowerment.
Furthermore, organisations with a more traditional structure and with less decision-
making opportunities for front-line employees could focus an executive coaching
intervention on their key decision-makers. According to Quinn and Spreitzer (1997),
psychologically empowered managers are more transformational in their leadership
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approach. Therefore executive coaching within a more traditionally structured
organisation could contribute to higher levels of psychological empowerment within
key leaders to increase their impact on organisational and team outcomes.
Variables affecting the relationship between coaching and empowerment
How the focus in the coaching is achieved
The research design for this project allowed for the comparison of the same
coaching model (Appendix 1), being used between the two sample groups of CITs
and coachees. The coachees revealed a significant positive difference in their
psychological empowerment levels after coaching while, as mentioned above, the
CITs revealed an effect that was close to positive statistical significance. One
distinct advantage from there being a difference in the results from the CITs and
coachees psychological empowerment levels is that both groups experienced a
different coaching focus, which allowed for the drawing of some conclusions on the
relationship between coaching and psychological empowerment with other variables.
Although this study did not test the possible moderating effects of variables upon the
relationship between coaching and psychological empowerment, the results of this
study may support certain variables moderating this relationship. Thus the following
variables are presented as possible moderators to this relationship.
The distinct difference between the coaching foci were that the CITs received
executive coaching to enable them to use effective coaching techniques, tools and
approaches with their selected coachees who were often team members. This
approach was so specifically focused on developing coaching capacity in CITs that
each CIT completed a 360 degree assessment on the effectiveness of their coaching.
In contrast, the coachees received coaching of a much broader perspective which
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involved setting goals that centred on their organisational objectives, other personal
developmental issues and felt needs.
Hence, in the sample group (CITs) who were least psychologically
empowered, the coaching focus tended to be more on a restricted organisational
outcome with less flexibility of addressing the leaders felt needs in their work. In
contrast, when the coaching focus allowed for more individual input in the overall
direction of each coaching relationship regarding their work, it demonstrated a
greater feeling of empowerment within participants. This finding corresponds with
Grant (2010) where he states, at the very heart of the coaching conversation:
coaches need to be skilled at developing rapport in order to engage in collaborative
goal-setting, whilst facilitating solution-focused thinking and enhancing motivation
for change. This is an important factor when considering the use of coaching in
order for participants to feel more empowered. It follows that whatever approach is
utilised, whether a restricted focus for specific organisational outcomes or for a more
individualised focus, when initiating any coaching relationship there needs to be time
taken to allow participants to feel that the direction taken will bring them personal
success.
It is therefore concluded from these findings that the way the focus for the
coaching relationship is achieved is one variable that influences psychological
empowerment within people being coached. It seems that people being coached
need to sense that they do have some say in the direction of the coaching relationship
in order to increase the chances for greater psychological empowerment. When
people, through coaching, were able to address areas which in their opinion would
add to their success, be something that would make a real difference and incorporate
a sense of self-direction, it led to greater feelings of being empowered. Having made
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this conclusion attention will now turn to discuss a variable which manifested
through the qualitative study that also had an influence upon the outcome of the
psychological empowerment scores of CITs.
Strong personal resonation with the organisations values and purpose
From the qualitative findings with CITs, it was revealed that out of the four
psychological empowerment facets, meaning, was the least affected facet from the
executive coaching experience. However, most of the participants responded
positively to some extent to increasing this facet through their executive coaching
experience. One prominent theme emerged from respondents as a possible reason to
why executive coaching had a weaker affect upon this facet. This theme revolved
around the nature of the work within the organisation in which the sample group
worked.
The recurrent reason given by CITs for this response to the facet of meaning
was a sense that it would be difficult to increase the feeling of greater meaning in
work. The purpose for working in the organisation was generally one of strong
personal resonation with the organisations values and purpose. This prevailing
attitude within not-for-profit organisations is attested to in the literature: employees
are willing to accept below market remuneration for their services because they
believe strongly in the mission of the organisation (Speckbacher, 2003). Thus, the
initial examination of these results implied that executive coaching is less likely to
significantly affect the psychological empowerment facet of meaning where
employees strongly resonate with the values and purpose of the organisation in
which they work. This dynamic may also tend to be more prevalent within not-for-
profit organisations compared to for-profit enterprises, implying that this particular
organisational context needs to be considered in an executive coaching intervention.
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The scope of change available for leaders
In contrast to the results above, the coachee sample group, who worked in the
same not-for-profit organisation as the CITs, did have a significant psychological
empowerment increase. It seems that their personal resonation with the values and
purpose of the organisation was not at the same level before executive coaching as
the CITs. Many coachees were volunteers which may explain some difference.
However, research has shown that volunteers and employees alike within not-for-
profit organisations have similar and sometimes greater resonation with
organisational values in which they work (van Vuuren, de Jong, & Seydel, 2008). A
third possible reason for why these two sample groups differed in their outcomes
regarding their feelings of empowerment is suggested below.
The explanation for this outcome relates to the scope for change available to
each group. The degree of decision-making authority that had already been granted
to individuals in each group was distinctly different. The interviews with the CITs
revealed that before being coached they had already obtained a significant sense of
personal decision-making authority in their place of work. This related back partly
to the organisational culture and partly to the positions of leadership authority
required in their roles. In contrast, many of the coachees (40%) operated in a
volunteer capacity with lesser positions of decision-making authority and, through
being coached, were encouraged to grow in their sense of empowerment within their
specific roles.
Thus, the scope for increasing psychological empowerment was considerably
different between both sample groups. Hence, this difference in the degree of
decision-making authority is a variable that is likely to contribute to why one group
increased significantly in their psychological empowerment levels and the other
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group did not. This concept is supported by the literature which discusses the
amount of flexibility in job roles affecting opportunities for increasing levels of
empowerment (Bhatnagar, 2005). Therefore this contextual matter is an important
variable for both organisations and coaching interventions when seeking to increase
psychological empowerment within leaders.
Conclusion of executive coaching and psychological empowerment
The overall finding from comparing the results of the quantitative and
qualitative studies in investigating the relationship between executive coaching and
psychological empowerment is a significant positive one. However it was
discovered that certain variables are likely to moderate this relationship. The
variables that impacted upon the relationship between executive coaching and
psychological empowerment are:
1. how the focus in the coaching relationship is achieved
2. the amount of personal resonation the leader has with their
organisations values and purpose, pre coaching
3. the scope for change available, pre coaching.

Furthermore, the strength of this relationship between executive coaching and
psychological empowerment produces practical implications for organisations. It
implies that organisations seeking to develop the desirable feelings of empowerment
within their employees can look to executive coaching as a credible means to achieve
this.
Executive coaching and affective commitment
There was a surprise finding with the CITs affective commitment levels
after executive coaching, with them decreasing significantly. This effect was in the
opposite direction to the hypothesised result. Several reasons relating to the
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organisational context may explain the result. First, the quantitative study
established that there were already strong affective commitment levels in CITs
before commencing executive coaching. The affective commitment mean score of
CITs before executive coaching commenced was higher than any other mean score
(pre or post) in this research. This indicated that before being coached CITs had
already experienced a significant emotional attachment to the organisation in which
they worked. This corresponds with Allen and Meyers (1996) definition of
affective commitment which speaks of a persons level of emotional attachment to an
organisation. Thus, the collective responses of CITs expressing how they felt with
an initial high mean score left little room for any improvement to be noted as a result
of the executive coaching intervention.
To further support this reason that there was a strong pre-existing condition
of affective commitment in CITs is also gained from the qualitative study. The
retrospective comments by CITs at the midway point regarding how they felt before
coaching started revealed their strong attachment. As previously mentioned, it was
discovered that CITs felt a strong resonation with the values and purpose of the
organisation in which they worked, expressing that they would find it difficult to
increase their sense of meaning in their work. These and various other comments
revealed a pre-existing emotional attachment to their organisation. Hence, it allowed
executive coaching little opportunity to improve CITs post coaching levels.
Affective commitment and contextual issues
The second reason proposed for the finding of decreased affective
commitment levels in CITs, centres on the contextual issues within the organisation
which occurred after the data was collected for the qualitative study (at midway
point) and before the time of collecting post coaching quantitative data.
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Unfortunately, it was not possible in this research to establish a control group as a
base-line to compare the results with the sample group. This coupled with the fact
that the organisation used for this study experienced a significant upper-leadership
change of the key person behind the coaching initiative, may have contributed to
significant negative affective commitment scores.
Leaders within the organisation were divided evenly over the decision to
retain the existing leader or appoint a new leader and there was also some
organisational confusion about the selection process with many people thinking that
the original leaders tenure had been extended. Considering the potential for these
events to cause some organisational dissatisfaction, along with the high pre coaching
mean score as a starting point, it is understandable to see why there was a decrease in
the CITs affective commitment levels.
To add further credibility to this conclusion, the coachees within the same
organisation maintained relatively unchanged levels of affective commitment after
executive coaching. This group was made up of 40% volunteers who knew little of
the organisational leadership issue and were not as heavily invested in the
organisational processes; thus, they were not as adversely affected as was reflected in
their responses. However, if there were any positive effects from executive coaching
they may have been adversely affected by the negative contextual issues occurring,
resulting in a relatively unchanged result.
Further evidence pointing to contextual issues being a contributor to CITs
decreased post affective commitment results comes from some of the contrasting rich
data revealed through the qualitative study. When discussing the benefits of
executive coaching for CITs, some of the responses align with the needed
antecedents that support an expected increase in post affective commitment scores.
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The antecedents for example that are found in Allen and Meyers (1996) and
Feinstein et al.s (2001) work are approachable manager, goal-setting, skills
transferability and satisfaction of moral values. When one compares these
antecedents with a number of the benefits expressed by the CITs such as goal-setting,
greater team member consideration, clear reproducible coaching process, quality of
the coaching relationship and greater congruence of values with day to day work
activities, one would expect there to be a significant positive difference in post
affective commitment scores. However, when one considers that the organisational
upheaval occurred after the data was collected for the qualitative study, then these
results give credence to the conclusion that contextual issues account for the anomaly
between the positive qualitative results and the low post quantitative results.
Affective commitment conclusion
It is concluded that the results of the analysis showing a significant negative
effect in affective commitment scores of CITs cannot be considered as generalisable.
It is suggested that there were unaccounted for variables in this study which
impacted upon the results. The unique contextual circumstances, and the lack of a
true experimental design, make it impossible to draw definitive conclusions.
However, alongside the contextual issues influencing the results of this study,
another plausible variable may give further insight into why there was a difference
between the results of the CITs and the coachees.
The difference in the affective commitment results from CITs and coachees
could also have been caused from the different foci in their coaching relationships.
CITs focused on developing their executive coaching skills, while coachees were
encouraged in their coaching to select goals that related to how they impacted the
organisation in which they worked. Nonetheless, coachees were not required to
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work on such goals, meaning that some did focus on them and some did not. The
implication is that coachees results, in light of the organisational contextual issues,
were less negatively affected because some coachees coaching relationships focused
on the relationship between themselves and the organisation. This interpretation
aligns well with a suggestion from Dingman (2004) and the outcome of Luthans and
Petersons (2003) research in that, for executive coaching to be effective in positively
increasing affective commitment levels within employees, there needs to be a focus
specifically upon the executive and the relationship they have with the organisation
in which they work.
This plausible conclusion regarding the focus of executive coaching needing
to incorporate the relationship between the executive and the organisation in which
they work needs further empirical investigation. If further examination can show
this executive coaching focus to be a significant variable for improving affective
commitment levels in executives, then it carries with it implications for both
organisations and executive coaching practitioners.
Greater affective commitment levels within employees have been
demonstrated by Meyer et al. (1993) to correlate with more responsible employees
who stay longer in the organisation and turn up for work more often. Hence,
organisations desiring to increase these outcomes could look with more confidence
to executive coaching as a leadership development tool to create greater levels of
affective commitment within their employees. Further, executive coaching
interventions seeking to increase affective commitment levels as a part of their brief
would need to incorporate a focus on the relationship between the executive and the
organisation in which they work.
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Executive coaching and job satisfaction
The finding relating to the relationship between executive coaching and job
satisfaction with both CITs and coachees, having no significant effect was
unexpected. Previous research using a pre and post design indicated that executive
coaching had made a significant positive effect upon Job satisfaction levels in leaders
being coached (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). In contrast, Dingman (2004) revealed in
her research that executive coaching had not produced a significant effect upon Job
satisfaction. However, her research was cross sectional and therefore did not allow
Job satisfaction levels to be independently examined. Thus, it was decided in this
research project to analyse the effects of executive coaching on leaders Job
satisfaction levels through a pre and post design.
Focussing on job satisfactions antecedents
In comparing the results in this research with Job satisfaction levels in
Luthans and Petersons (2003) research, having used both pre and post models, it is
important to note a clear element of distinction between them. Luthans and
Petersons (2003) work used an accompanying 360 degree feedback process with the
executive coaching in order to improve the 360 degree ratings. The executive
coaching aided each manager being coached to gain a realistic perspective of their
managerial ability in their work through receiving honest feedback from those with
whom they had a direct influence.
Each manager received a coaching feedback session which analysed the
aggregate scores of how they were perceived by others and compared them with their
own scores. The common occurrence for each manager was to realise that their own
view of their managerial ability was significantly higher than those with whom they
worked. However, through executive coaching the managers embraced a more
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realistic perspective and set goals and action steps in order to aid in the improvement
of the revealed deficiencies.
At the end of the executive coaching intervention the differences in the
aggregate and managers scores were more significantly aligned with the aggregate
scores positively increasing in their assessment of managerial ability. A considerable
part of the job satisfaction measure used in Luthans and Petersons (2003) research
looked at the areas of supervision and relationship with co-workers, also the 360
degree assessment accompanied with the executive coaching focussed on these areas.
Therefore it stands to reason that a key cause for executive coaching producing
greater Job satisfaction was the clear focus of the executive coaching upon these Job
satisfaction antecedents.
Hence, the contrast in Luthans and Petersons (2003) research compared to
the executive coaching in this research was the lack of focus on the specific
antecedents of job satisfaction. Instead this study measured both leaders and their
coachees job satisfaction levels as a by-product of executive coaching. This
approach yielded an ineffective result in the area of the leaders job satisfaction.
Thus it seems for executive coaching to be most likely to have a consistent
significant effect upon job satisfaction in leaders who are being coached, there needs
to be a clear focus on the antecedents of job satisfaction such as relationships with
co-workers, improved supervision and the work itself.
Job satisfaction and a pre-existing condition
A further element that contributed to there being a non significant finding
with both CITs and coachees job satisfaction levels was a high pre coaching
response to the questionnaire. With high positive responses to job satisfaction before
coaching, it left room for only modest effects to be recorded. This corresponds with
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the qualitative study, which has already been noted above, that showed people were
already highly satisfied in their jobs before they started executive coaching.
Job satisfaction conclusion
One implication for executive coaching from this finding is that job
satisfaction is not necessarily a direct positively associated variable with executive
coaching. Therefore organisations and executive coaching interventions seeking to
increase job satisfaction levels in employees need to consider the antecedents of job
satisfaction within the intervention. Furthermore, an assessment needs to be made
whether targeting job satisfaction is the appropriate focus for the intervention. If the
group is already highly satisfied with their work, then it is likely that there will be
little impact from executive coaching.
Conclusion of hypothesis one
Four important principle concepts have emerged from the investigation of
hypothesis one. First, in general, for executive coaching to be most effective in
producing some specific desired outcomes, interventions need to incorporate a focus
on helping clients to develop goals toward antecedents for those outcomes. This
conclusion was made through investigating both the outcomes of affective
commitment and job satisfaction. Second, for psychological empowerment to be a
likely positive outcome of executive coaching the coaching focus needs to
incorporate strong personal engagement in the coaching process from the person
being coached. This will give them a sense of being able to: direct the process,
focus on what they perceive will bring success, and feel it will make a difference.
Third, in regards to variables like psychological empowerment, before an executive
coaching intervention should be pursued within an organisation a thorough analysis
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should be conducted on the scope for change available for prospective participants to
understand the potential for improvement. Fourth, when looking to use executive
coaching to improve affective commitment levels there needs to be a specific focus
on the relationship between the executive and the organisation in which they work.
Findings for hypothesis two
The second hypothesis in this research predicted that after executive coaching
leaders would rate their leader-empowering behaviours higher and that as their
leader-empowering behaviours increased their psychological empowerment levels
would increase. The leaders in this study did reveal self-rated results that indicated
a significant positive change in their leader-empowering behaviours. However, the
increase in their leader-empowering behaviours was not associated with a
statistically significant increase in their psychological empowerment levels.
Nevertheless, the qualitative study indicated that there was a positive association.
Executive coaching and self-rated leader-empowering behaviours

Leaders in this study saw themselves as exhibiting more empowering
behaviours after the coaching intervention. It is suggested that one important reason
for this finding relates back to an insight emerging from hypothesis one regarding
executive coaching being more effective if it focuses upon antecedents to desired
outcomes. Hence, in comparing the six components of leader-empowering
behaviours (delegation, accountability, self-directed decision-making, information
sharing, skill development and coaching for innovation) (Konczak et al., 2000) to the
executive coaching outcomes attested to by leaders in this study, it becomes apparent
that there is a strong correlation between both groups.
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To illustrate this point, in the qualitative study CITs spoke of benefits that
arose from executive coaching to enable them to work more effectively with their
team members. These benefits included helping team members to take more
ownership of tasks, setting clearer priorities, encouraging greater autonomy through
the use of questions and passing on skills like goal-setting. These comparisons
reveal that some of the focus of executive coaching in this study related to the six
components of leader-empowering behaviours and therefore enabled CITs to begin
developing these behaviours, causing them to self-assess their growth in this area as
significant.
Leader-empowering behaviours and psychological empowerment
Although the findings for the relationship between leader-empowering
behaviours and psychological empowerment were statistically non significant, a
positive correlation between the two variables was discovered which was close to
significance (p = .06). It is probable that the non significant statistic was due to low
statistical power resulting from the small sample size in this study (Cohen & Kazdin,
2003). This conclusion can be further supported from the rich qualitative findings
that have been discussed above, revealing that CITs felt that their sense of
empowerment had increased through the process of executive coaching.
Conclusion of hypothesis two
In concluding this discussion on executive coaching and its relationship with
leader-empowering behaviours, it can be noted that executive coaching did
significantly impact CITs leader-empowering behaviours; they perceived a positive
difference. One of the key reasons for this positive outcome was the focus in the
executive coaching intervention on most of the specific components of leader-
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empowering behaviours, which supports the concept that for executive coaching to
be most effective in achieving specific desired outcomes for most constructs there
needs to be a focus on the antecedents that support such outcomes.
These findings bear implications for executive coaching interventions
desiring to increase leaders psychological empowerment levels. If executive
coaching is to be utilised as a means of creating higher levels of psychological
empowerment in leaders, then the increase of leader-empowering behaviours, as
perceived by executives, is an important variable to aid in this process. This is
further attested to by Konczak et al.s (2000) research. It seems that the practical
coaching elements used in the coaching and training intervention examined in this
research project correlated with the six components of leader-empowering
behaviours. This enabled CITs to feel they were exercising greater empowering
behaviours. As a result, it also contributed to their feelings of empowerment, as
attested to in the qualitative study.
Finally, with receiving close to significant results in CITs psychological
empowerment scores in the quantitative study, it may indicate that additional time is
required for leaders to more strongly sense an increase in their psychological
empowerment. Additionally, a stronger case for increased time can be argued if
some facets of psychological empowerment such as impact (where change is taking
place in others) and greater competency (can see themselves growing in new skills)
take longer to develop. Further research using a longer timeframe needs to be
conducted in order to examine this variable.
Findings for hypothesis three
The third hypothesis in this research predicted that, after executive coaching,
CITs team members (subset of coachees) would rate their CITs higher in their
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leader-empowering behaviours. The unexpected finding from this hypothesis was
that the team members did not rate their leaders as significantly higher in their
leader-empowering behaviours after executive coaching. Reasons for this finding
will now be discussed.
Team members perspectives on leader-empowering behaviours
Although leaders in this study perceived a significant increase in their leader-
empowering behaviours, this was in contrast to their team members perspectives.
The team members who worked with these leaders did not perceive any real
difference in their leaders leader-empowering behaviours after coaching. It seems
likely that there are four possible reasons, or a combination of some of them, for this
anomaly occurring.
Executive coaching sessions completed and timeframe
The first two reasons suggested for why team members rated their leaders as
having no noticeable increase are the number of sessions completed and the
timeframe in which they were completed. These two variables will be discussed
together because they are strongly interrelated. The number of coaching sessions
received by leaders is an issue that Smither et al. (2003) consider in their research.
They had 55% of their sample group only receiving 3 or 4 coaching sessions which
was noted as a variable that needed further investigation to test for its effect in
executive coaching outcomes.
Thachs (2002) executive coaching intervention, for example, which did
bring a significant behavioural shift in coached leaders as perceived by managers,
peers and direct reports, was conducted over a 12 month period. In comparison to
these previous research examples, 70% of the participants in the sample group of this
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research project received 6 coaching sessions over a six month period. This seems to
have provided enough sessions for leaders to feel that they had significantly modified
their behaviours toward their team members, but it appears that it was not enough
time and/or sessions for team members to notice those behaviour changes.
Managing team members perceptions
The third possible reason to explain the anomaly between leaders and team
members perceptions is the importance of managing the perceptions of team
members throughout the executive coaching intervention. In Thachs (2002)
research she speaks of the need for managers, peers and direct reports to receive
regular information in regard to their leaders progress as being a key component to
managing their perceptions within the coaching intervention. This strategy would
apply here to the leaders team members as a means of helping them to increase their
awareness of the areas being focussed upon and to notice behaviour shifts shortly
after they occur.
Further, Thach (2002) speaks of a 360 degree feedback tool as a means of
keeping the intervention in line with organisational strategic intentions. However it
also seems likely that a 360 degree feedback mechanism would inform team
members of executive developmental intentions and allow some type of input into
the process. If such a practice was executed well, it would increase the possibility of
team member support for the intervention, making it more conducive to notice small
behavioural improvements.

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High pre coaching team member assessment
The fourth and final possible reason for there not being significant team
member results relates to the high pre coaching mean score they gave to assess their
leaders, leaving little room for increasing their post results. Previous research has
shown when leaders are evaluated that their self-evaluations, in general, tend to rate
higher than their aggregate multi-source feedback evaluations (Campbell & Lee,
1988). However in this research both the pre and post aggregate mean scores from
team members were higher than the pre mean scores of the leaders, while the leaders
post mean scores did rise after executive coaching to become higher than both pre
and post aggregate scores of team members (cf. Table 4.2). Thus, it is possible that
the positive environment and relationships between work colleagues within this not-
for-profit organisation impacted team members pre coaching mean scores, allowing
them little room to adjust upward after the executive coaching intervention. Thus,
the resulting scores remained at a relatively high level.
Conclusions for hypothesis three
While there is merit in each of the four possible interpretations to the results
received regarding team members interpretations of leader-empowering behaviours,
it is likely that a more definitive answer lies in a combination of three of them. It can
be concluded from the qualitative results which display significant behaviour
changes in leaders, along with specific examples as evidence to the changes, that the
number of coaching sessions was not a significant limitation to a positive result.
Thus, it seems that the best explanation for this statistical outcome from team
members was their good-will toward their leaders causing them to leave a small
amount of leeway for scoring an improved result at time two. Furthermore, it also
seems that to a smaller degree, on the basis of the positive behavioural evidence from
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the qualitative study, that if a process for managing the perceptions of team members
was employed they would have been more likely to notice such changes, perhaps
recording higher post results. Finally, the timeframe needed for others to notice
significant change may have had an impact here. The evidence from the qualitative
study at the midway point indicates that there was significant change starting to take
place, but there may not have been enough time for the new behaviours to be deemed
consistent and significant.
Implications for executive coaching and behaviour change efforts
These findings have implications for the practical implementation of
executive coaching interventions. When executive coaching is working with leaders
behaviour changes and assessing it by other work colleagues, the length of time
specific behaviours are expected must correspond with the types of behaviours being
sought. For example, some behaviours may not be used regularly enough within the
timeframe given to expect others to recognise a difference. In the case of skill
development, if the team is already highly skilled, significant time may be required
to measure improvement. Alternately, the role may not require a considerable
amount of training preventing meaningful improvement from being either achievable
or measurable.
The managing of team members perceptions throughout an executive
coaching intervention would also bring implications. Since the managing of team
members perceptions causes more accurate insight into the development of leaders,
then it seems that this practice would be helpful for all involved in the intervention.
It would not only aid the organisation in receiving quality feedback on each leaders
developmental progress, it would aid each leader with superior insight into their
strengths and potential growth areas. It would help team members to be in league
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with the intervention as advocates and it would aid the coach/es with more accurate
perspectives in ongoing assessment. This practice of managing key stakeholders
support and its benefits are also attested to in the executive coaching literature
(Goldsmith, 2004; Luthans & Peterson, 2003; Thach, 2002; Wasylyshyn, 2003). It
seems probable that this practice would aid stakeholders seeking to gain appropriate
insight into the specific progress of leaders or the effectiveness of any executive
coaching intervention.
Findings for hypothesis four
Hypothesis four in this research predicted that leaders who received executive
coaching would increase in their psychological empowerment which would be
positively associated with their job satisfaction and affective commitment levels.
The first half of this hypothesis was tested in hypothesis one. Through triangulating
the results from both the quantitative and qualitative studies it was discovered that
leaders did experience a positive increase in psychological empowerment. The
second half of this hypothesis, which this discussion will now focus on, contains two
parts predicting psychological empowerment has a positive association with both
affective commitment and job satisfaction in the leader.
Two unexpected findings were revealed from the results of this hypothesis.
First, although psychological empowerment had increased in CITs and was highly
related to job satisfaction, there was no increase in CITs job satisfaction levels after
executive coaching. Second, psychological empowerment was poorly correlated
with affective commitment and after executive coaching CITs affective commitment
levels decreased significantly. Furthermore, coachees results reflected similar
outcomes except that their post affective commitment levels remained relatively
unchanged instead of decreasing.
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Psychological empowerment and affective commitment results

First, to correctly interpret the results in this research there must be
recognition that there was some organisational upheaval just prior to completing the
questionnaire on organisational commitment and psychological empowerment. It is
highly likely that any organisational upheaval would first be reflected through a
negative result in the construct of organisational commitment, giving cause for a
decreasing mean score for CITs in this study.
In spite of the contextual issues just discussed, an alternate interpretation is
now offered to further explain the results from this relationship between
psychological empowerment and affective commitment in this study. This
explanation is offered also using the results from the coachees in this study. It is
posited that a strong focus in a coaching relationship on either psychological
empowerment or affective commitment at the neglect of the other may tend to have
little impact upon the other construct. There are substantial distinctions between the
two constructs that, if not considered adequately within an executive coaching
relationship, may cause the two constructs to work independently from one another.
The following explanation may serve to provide further clarification.
Psychological empowerment is fundamentally a measure of an individuals
experience which can be broken down into how they feel about meaning in their
work, making an impact by contributing at work, feeling competent to do their work
and having the freedom of authority to make decisions that affect the direction of
their work (Spreitzer, 1992). This definition expresses a major focus upon the
individuals interpretation of their experience from their work whereas the
antecedents of affective commitment, such as structural characteristics and job
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related characteristics, encompass an emotional connection with the work
organisation itself (Mowday et al., 1982).
Therefore, it seems that one can increase in individual psychological
empowerment levels without necessarily becoming more emotionally attached to the
organisation in which they work. Additionally, it is also conceivable that one can
increase their emotional attachment to their place of work through improved
structural characteristics or job related characteristics and not increase in their
psychological empowerment levels. Hence, the relationship between psychological
empowerment and affective commitment has potential for a weak correlation.
Therefore, it appears that if executive coaching does not factor in these differences
and even though there are some similar antecedents between both variables like
increased competency, the similarities are not potent enough for psychological
empowerment to significantly contribute to affective commitment levels.
It is important to note from the qualitative study that leaders felt the greatest
facet of psychological empowerment that was developed though executive coaching
was that of competency. This is important because according to Luthans and
Petersons (2003) research, focussing on specific competency levels did create an
increase in organisational commitment. However, in spite of the sense of increased
competency levels in the leaders being coached in this research, it did not develop
higher levels of affective commitment but, contrary to expectations, they decreased.
As mentioned above, this similar pattern was also detected in the coachees in this
study with their affective commitment levels remaining relatively unchanged.
It can therefore be concluded from this that to use executive coaching to
increase psychological empowerment levels in leaders in order to see affective
commitment levels also rise, without taking precautions to understand the
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ramifications of organisational and individual dynamics within each construct, is not
an effective strategy. Thus, to see increased affective commitment scores in leaders
there needs to be a focus on specific competencies which contribute to leaders
engaging in the organisation in which they work.
Luthans and Peterson (2003), for example, speak about the competencies of
managerial self-regulatory behaviour bringing an increase to organisational
commitment. The qualitative study revealed a consistent relationship between a
number of executive coaching outcomes and participants feelings of increased
competency (a facet of psychological empowerment), while at the same time the
quantitative study showed a decrease in affective commitment. This result implies
that there needs to be a focus upon specific competencies, like self-regulatory
behaviours, to raise affective commitment levels through executive coaching
(Luthans & Peterson, 2003). The implication here is that for a successful blend of
psychological empowerment and affective commitment to be both positively
increasing throughout a coaching relationship, there would need to be a specific
focus on both individual and organisational aspirations.
Psychological empowerment and job satisfaction results

The second unexpected finding in hypothesis four was to observe, with both
CITs and coachees, a strong relationship between psychological empowerment and
job satisfaction and yet see relatively no improvement in their job satisfaction after
coaching. This suggested that other variables played a significant role in the
outcome of job satisfaction levels.
One variable that seems likely to have impacted these results is the
organisational upheaval present just prior to collecting time two responses on job
satisfaction. It is likely this variable altered job satisfaction results to some extent
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but it is difficult to determine how significantly they were affected. This highlights
the importance of recognising the strong influence organisational context can have
upon workplace psychological affects. Variables of notable importance that can
affect job satisfaction levels include psychological climate and organisational
culture.
According to the literature that discusses the link between psychological
empowerment and job satisfaction, a variable affecting this relationship is that of
empowerment climate (Seibert et al., 2004). Seibert et al.s (2004) research
demonstrated that psychological empowerment mediates the effects of psychological
climate on job satisfaction. They define the psychological climate of an organisation
as being made up of the collective interpretations of the employees within an
organisation. Incorporating this variable within this research project was not within
the scope of this project. Therefore, in future research it would be worth
investigating the effects of psychological empowerment on job satisfaction through
executive coaching while controlling for organisational contextual variables.
Another variable that may have altered the expected positive relationship
between psychological empowerment and job satisfaction is the exploratory and
reflective nature of executive coaching for leaders. Dingman (2004) investigated the
relationship between executive coaching and job satisfaction and found no
significant outcome on job satisfaction levels. She hypothesised that a possible
reason for there not being a significant increase in job satisfaction from an executive
coaching experience is the process of executive coaching, which helps a leader re-
evaluate their situation and their skills and set appropriate goals. This could cause
them to reassess their values and current work role as a poor fit, bringing greater
dissatisfaction in the job.
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Conclusions for hypothesis four
Several conclusions can be drawn from this discussion. First, it is important
to recognise that both psychological empowerment and affective commitment as
distinct constructs contain underlying foci which may work contrary to one another.
In general, psychological empowerment focuses on the individuals personal
interpretation of their feelings resulting from their work. Affective commitment
focuses on organisational structural characteristics, job related characteristics and an
emotional connection with the work organisation itself (Mowday et al., 1982).
Simply put, it is possible for psychological empowerment to be more self-focussed,
while affective commitment can tend to be more organisational focussed.
It therefore appears that if executive coaching doesnt account for this
contrast then it is possible for a strong emphasis on psychological empowerment to
cater towards individuals needs and detract from their feelings toward the
organisation. In contrast to this, it also seems possible that executive coaching could
focus on achieving both outcomes if some careful planning exists. There would need
to be a careful focus through the executive coaching process on both lots of
antecedents for each construct. There would also need to be a thorough assessment
made of the organisational context for coaching to navigate toward greater affective
commitment and/or psychological empowerment, plus a thorough assessment on the
current emotional state of individuals. Additionally, after such an assessment it
might be deemed necessary to strategically consider an intervention other than
executive coaching which focuses on organisational culture or climate.
Second, if organisations are seeking to use executive coaching as a means of
developing individual job satisfaction in employees, they do need to assess the
organisational climate in order to discern how much it is impinging upon employees
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current job satisfaction levels. Finally, if job satisfaction levels are to be a focus
through executive coaching, the executive coach would need to be careful to manage
well the ongoing appraisal process of each leader regarding their work. This is stated
for two reasons. Since it has been noted that executive coaching can cause a leader
to re-evaluate their work situation and values and end up finding a poor fit,
navigating this process with sensitivity to the organisation is important. Further,
according to Locke (1976), job satisfaction is an enjoyable emotional state as a
consequence from appraising ones job or job experiences. It therefore stands to
reason that the executive coach needs to manage the appraisal process of the leader
well so as to maintain both the integrity of the coaching process by respecting the
agenda of the leader and the integrity of the organisational strategic intent of the
intervention.
Findings for hypothesis five - flow on effect

Hypothesis five predicted that leaders (CITs) who received executive
coaching would produce a flow on effect to their coachees, who worked in the same
organisation, in the psychological affects of psychological empowerment, job
satisfaction and affective commitment. Two unexpected findings were revealed from
testing this hypothesis. Both job satisfaction and affective commitment remained
relatively unchanged after the executive coaching intervention. One expected
finding was confirmed through testing this hypothesis, discovering that
psychological empowerment levels did significantly increase after executive
coaching, resulting in the confirmation of a flow on effect.
In contrast to this finding on psychological empowerment, when there was
the influence of supervisory authority held by the coach over their coachee it
lessened the positive psychological empowerment effect below a significant level
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(Table 4.3). Therefore the continuing discussion will incorporate these findings and
offer plausible reasons for the outcomes.
The influence of supervisory authority over executive coaching outcomes
In order to further understand the dynamics of the relationship between
executive coaching and psychological empowerment, the variable of supervisory
authority inherent within the person delivering coaching underwent preliminary
examination. This examination was conducted by comparing the coachee sample
group with its subset, those who were also team members. Hence, team members
were coachees, who were under the direct supervisory authority of the leader who
coached them (64% of coachees were also team members).
It has already been demonstrated that after executive coaching coachees
revealed a significant increase in their psychological empowerment levels. Therefore
by removing all the coachees whose coaches were not their direct supervisors, this
left a sample group exclusively of team members. Although the team members
results revealed an increase in their mean scores of psychological empowerment
levels after coaching, it was not at a significant level as was the coachees. This gives
an initial indication that one of the variables that may impact upon the relationship
between executive coaching and psychological empowerment is the authority
inherent in the coach delivering the service. However more rigorous research needs
to be conducted on this variable.
Thus, when a leader does not have direct supervisory authority over the
coachee, even within the same organisation, it allows coachees more freedom to
explore their own personal way to success outside of the implicit or explicit work-
unit norms imposed, consciously or unconsciously, by their supervisor as their coach
(Spreitzer, 1996). Furthermore, with less familiarity experienced between the coach
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and the coachee there is less conflict of interest (what is shared may affect promotion
or rewards), a greater opportunity for feelings of confidentially (they may be
struggling with the supervisor or other work colleagues), and a safe place to explore
unspoken assumptions (Finn, 2007).
This finding has implications for organisations choosing to use executive
coaching as a leadership development tool. There is a need for organisations to
understand the positives and negatives of whether to use internal or external
executive coaches. As has been discussed in this section coaches that are too
familiar with their clients, like an internal coach, would tend to forfeit elements of
confidentiality, increase the conflict of interest, and continue unhelpful
organisational norms (Finn, 2007). From a positive perspective, an internal coach
would tend to be less of a financial strain and understand the specific organisational
culture of the executive (Wasylyshyn, 2003).
In contrast an external coach would tend to offer a more professional service
with a wider range of ideas, create a safe confidential environment and offer greater
objectivity (Finn, 2007). Organisations would therefore need to familiarise
themselves with the pros and cons of internal and external coaches and choose the
appropriate solutions for their particular situation. To further investigate the flow on
effect of executive coaching, the discussion will now focus on the effect of leader-
empowering behaviours upon team members psychological empowerment.
Effects of leader-empowering behaviours on psychological empowerment

One unexpected finding in this research regarding a flow on effect was to
discover a weak correlation between leader-empowering behaviours (as rated by
team members) and team members psychological empowerment. According to
Konczak et al.s (2000) research a significant variable often missing in research
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when investigating psychological empowerment is the affect leader-empowering
behaviours have on team members. Their research demonstrated that leader-
empowering behaviours positively affected psychological empowerment with
leaders team members (Konczak et al., 2000). A reason for there being a contrast
here in these current findings will now be discussed.
In consideration of hypotheses two of this research project, it was discovered
that after executive coaching CITs felt they had improved in their leader-empowering
behaviours. However, hypothesis three revealed that team members did not perceive
any noticeable difference in their leaders leader-empowering behaviours after
executive coaching, which was likely attributed to an influence from variables such
as timeframe, not managing team members perceptions and team members high
ratings before coaching.
Therefore, although the psychological empowerment levels of coachees
significantly increased after executive coaching, revealing a flow on effect from
executive coaching, leader-empowering behaviours were not associated with this
increase. This suggests the involvement of other variables were associated with the
significant increase in coachees psychological empowerment. For example,
Spreitzer (1995b) spoke about the variables of work context and individual
personality having a significant effect upon peoples psychological empowerment.
Thus, although leader-empowering behaviours have been shown to be a
significant antecedent to psychological empowerment in previous research (Konczak
et al., 2000), so too have contextual factors such as available resources, socio-
political support and minimal bureaucratic systems (Spreitzer, 1995b). This suggests
that leader-empowering behaviours are only one factor of antecedents that need to be
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considered in an executive coaching intervention looking to increase psychological
empowerment.
Furthermore, some of the elements within a coaching experience, such as
individual support and personal resourcing, correlate with some of the contextual
factors mentioned by Spreitzer (1995) above. Therefore the executive coaching
experience in this research was able to carry with it antecedents that the literature has
shown predicts increased psychological empowerment. Furthermore, the coaching
paradigm used in this research had a significant direct impact upon the four facets of
psychological empowerment. The coaching paradigm used with the coachees
included the aspects of being able to influence the direction of workplace decisions, a
sense that personal success would result, a feeling that they were more capable and
that the results from coaching would make a positive difference. These variables
dovetail into the four facets of psychological empowerment and reveal that executive
coaching is an effective leadership development tool for creating increased levels of
psychological empowerment with leaders as a flow on effect.
Conclusions of hypothesis five
The findings from investigating the flow on effect from executive coaching
lead to different conclusions than were expected. Contrary to expectations, neither
of the psychological affects of job satisfaction and affective commitment was
demonstrated in a flow on effect from executive coaching. However, there was a
flow on effect from executive coaching resulting in increased psychological
empowerment within coachees.
Furthermore, this flow on effect occurred through an intermediary process.
Executive coaches worked with CITs, who in turn worked with coachees to see a
psychological empowerment flow on effect. This has implications for organisations
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wanting to create a culture of using a coaching approach in their leadership
development. This research has demonstrated that training and implementing
coaching techniques with leaders in order to execute an organisation-wide coaching
strategy can be effective and produce a flow on effect of psychological
empowerment.
An initial investigation on the effects of the variable of supervisory authority
indicates that it negatively affects the relationship between executive coaching and
psychological empowerment. This variable needs more rigorous investigation before
a definitive conclusion can be determined. If however, this variable proves to
negatively moderate the relationship between executive coaching and psychological
empowerment, it has practical implications upon organisations in choosing whether
to use internal or external coaches.
A further conclusion also suggested that further testing be conducted on the
predictive potency of leader-empowering behaviours upon team member
psychological empowerment. It would be advantageous to investigate the use of a
longer timeframe in order to give team members a greater opportunity to experience
leaders behaviours. Also as mentioned above, team members expectations need to
be managed throughout the intervention in order for them to more readily recognise
leader behaviour changes.
Finally, it was discovered when looking to increase psychological
empowerment through executive coaching, that elements such as personal support
and resourcing of leaders were inherent in the process and correlated with
antecedents of psychological empowerment. Further, the executive coaching
paradigm used by CITs aligned with the four facets of psychological empowerment,
making coaching an effective tool for developing leaders feelings of empowerment.
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Alignment of executive coaching and the four facets of empowerment
It was found that executive coaching was an effective leadership development
tool for developing increased psychological empowerment through affecting its four
facets. It was also discovered that seven out of the eighteen executive coaching
outcomes affected more than one psychological empowerment facet. Table 5.2
below outlines the relationship between the executive coaching outcomes and their
associated facet/s.
A number of the executive coaching outcomes from this study linked with
more than one of the four facets of psychological empowerment. This occurred
because there were slight nuances of difference within these executive coaching
outcomes. For example, the outcome of an improved focus on developing team
members brought an increase in both the facets of impact and self-determination.
This outcome brought greater self-determination because leaders took greater
initiative through executive coaching to develop leaders and implement different
strategies to accomplish this, increasing their sense that they were in charge of
directing the process (self-determination). This outcome also brought greater impact
because CITs sensed that in spending more time with their leaders developing them
and making it a significant strategy was making a difference with their team
members (impact).






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Table 5.2 - Alignment of executive coaching outcomes & the four psychological
empowerment facets of competency, impact, self-determination and meaning

Executive coaching outcomes contributing to
the four facets of psychological empowerment
Four facets of
empowerment

Team member consideration .......
Use of transferable coaching process .
Goal-setting for leader and team members ..
Using coaching approach ..
Use of more questions .....
Setting clear work priorities ....
Improved focus on team member development ..
Clarifying leaders thoughts ...
Using coaching techniques ...
Remove self-imposed restrictions ....
Personal rejuvenation ...
Using clear coaching structure to develop team members
Personal accountability to goals ..
Alignment of personal work values with work activities .
Ongoing sense of progress .
More positive emotional state

C & I
C & I
C & S
C & S
C & I
C & S
S & I
C
C
S
I
I
M
M
M
M
C = Competency, S = Self-determination, I = Impact, M = Meaning

Further, the outcome of using a coaching approach developed higher levels of
self-determination and competency. CITs felt this approach enabled them to better
guide their team members to gain greater buy-in to organisational values (self-
determination) and at the same time it increased their sense of competency because
they could deal with people in more effective ways. As a final example, the
executive coaching outcome of setting and having clear work priorities created
greater self-determination and competency. CITs could stay focussed on the most
important areas of their leadership increasing their sense of being able to direct their
future course and feel competent that they were focussed on the most important
areas. It is not too difficult in looking over the remaining outcomes that correspond
with more than one facet to conceptualise why participants gained different nuances
of empowerment through similar outcomes. Hence there were some executive
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coaching outcomes that shared facets of psychological empowerment, but the
nuances of difference within the same outcome were significant enough to bring
different experiences for CITs.
This finding of participants experiencing different feelings of empowerment
from the same outcome has implications for executive coaching in seeking to create
greater feelings of empowerment. First it appears that some of the executive
coaching outcomes are more potent in producing feelings of empowerment,
producing nuances of experience that can potentially affect the development of two
different facets of empowerment within two different individuals. Although research
in this area is only in the early stages, with further development it is possible for
coaching to target specific outcomes, which carry greater nuances of experience, in
order to create a greater chance to affect more participants feelings of
empowerment.
This finding highlights the need for the executive coach to work with the
interpretations of the leader in conjunction with the observable outcomes. If too
much focus is purely on the outcomes of executive coaching in looking to produce
greater effects in psychological empowerment, then the true impact may go
undetected and misunderstanding result. Furthermore, this finding exposes the
complexity of human dynamics and the need to keep lines of open feedback
operating during the coaching process.
Theoretical contribution
There is currently a lack of theoretical knowledge regarding the relationship
between executive coaching and psychological empowerment, therefore this research
seeks to contribute to this current gap. Although it is beyond the scope of this
research to draw causal conclusions regarding the developmental process of
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psychological empowerment from executive coaching, certain patterns emerged in
order to suggest theoretical possibilities. Therefore a theory is proposed from
investigating the qualitative data that many of the elements within this executive
coaching intervention contributed to the specific executive coaching outcomes
attested to by leaders, which in turn contributed to increasing the four facets of
psychological empowerment. Table 5.3 below reveals the process starting with
elements used with the executive coaching intervention investigated in this research.
The elements chosen in this model come from a combination of the quality of
the coaching process (see Appendix 1 section G) and the structured elements used by
the coach training organisation in this research. Justification for this comes from the
positive responses of participants to the questionnaire on the quality of the coaching
process that the elements were present - and the required elements in the coach
training intervention. Further, these elements listed in Table 5.3 line up with the
literature as typical elements within executive coaching processes (Barner, 2006;
Dingman, 2004; Giglio et al., 1998; Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001; Kilburg,
1996; Natale & Diamante, 2005; Thach, 2002).
The executive coaching outcomes in the theoretical model below have come
out of the analysis of the data from the semi-structured interviews. These outcomes
in step two of table 5.3 have been grouped into categories of similar meaning. Many
of these outcomes can be found in the literature as further executive coaching
elements (Hall et al., 1999; Kilburg, 1996; Olivero et al., 1997; Sherin & Caiger,
2004; Stevens, 2005). Thus, the context for this model has come out of an
organisations strategic intent to cascade coaching skills from the top leadership
down in order to create a coaching culture. This intent was therefore successful.
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This however, makes the generalisability for this model limited to executive
coaching that is specifically targeting leaders to develop in coaching skills.
However, in spite of this limited application there seems to be good reason
why this proposed model could fit with other organisations looking to implement the
same type of strategic intent. One rationale behind this interpretation is that in this
application it was used as a leadership development tool in aiding leaders to work
with team members and others within the same organisation. This same type of
leadership development process should therefore transfer to other organisations with
leaders and teams having similar flexibility in their job roles. Furthermore, as a
leadership development strategy, which would also create greater psychologically
empowered leaders, it seems reasonable to propose that this model would be
applicable to other sectors beside the not-for-profit.
The third step in this theoretical model is the outcome of psychological
empowerment in leaders who have been coached. The literature is replete with
support on the four facets of psychological empowerment as an appropriate construct
to describe this variable from which reliable measures have been constructed and
have undergone empirical examination (Spreitzer, 1992, 1995a; Thomas &
Velthouse, 1990). Hence, these measures were utilised in constructing the semi-
structured questionnaire for this research project. Through examining the interview
data in this research, growing evidence began to emerge that equipping leaders to use
executive coaching as a part of their leadership repertoire also created greater
feelings of empowerment. The proposal of this theoretical model suggests causal
relationships between the elements of executive coaching, the executive coaching
outcomes, and the four facets of psychological empowerment. It is proposed that the
process of a leader becoming more psychologically empowered through an executive
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Table 5.3 Proposed theory


Proposed theoretical process of how an integrated organisational executive
coaching intervention develops psychological empowerment in leaders.

Step 1. Use of executive
coaching process with
leaders
Step 2. Executive
coaching outcomes from
leaders being coached in
how to coach others
Step 3. Increased levels
of psychological
empowerment from
coaching outcomes

1. Coaching
relationship

2. Coaching contract

3. Confidentiality
agreement

4. Quality
communication

5. Trust building

6. Assessment of
strength and needs

7. Action plan
designed

8. Regular action
steps planned

9. Accountability to
action steps

10. Regular review of
progress

11. Formal evaluation of
coaching process
(mid-point &
closure)


Coaching competencies
1. Using clear coaching
structure to develop team
members
2. Using coaching techniques
3. Using coaching approach
4. Use of transferable coaching
process
5. Use of questions



Team leading
6.Team member consideration
7.Improved focus on team
member development
8.Goal-setting for team
members *



Personal leadership direction
9. Goal-setting for leader *
10. Setting clear work priorities
11. Personal accountability to
goals
12. Ongoing sense of progress



Inner personal health
13. Clarifying leaders thoughts
14. Remove self-imposed
restrictions
15. Personal rejuvenation
16. Alignment of personal work
values with work activities
17. More positive emotional state





(* one outcome divided into two for
categorisation)





1. Leaders felt more
competent in their
place of work



2. Leaders felt they were
creating a greater
impact in their place
of work



3. Leaders felt they had
more freedom to self-
determine the
direction/s they chose
in their place of work



4. Leaders felt more
personal meaning
coming from their
work

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coaching intervention, looking to equip leaders in coaching skills, operates in the
following manner. The leader engages in an executive coaching relationship with
the quality processes listed in step one (Table 5.3) in order to develop in their
capacity to coach others. Next, as they exercise coaching skills with others and are
coached in the process, they begin to experience the outcomes listed in step two of
the model. Finally, over time (a nine month period, including training in this
research) the leader feels an increase in the four facets of psychological
empowerment resulting in feelings of empowerment.
This developmental process therefore suggests a possible contribution to the
extension of theoretical knowledge on the relationship between executive coaching
and the developmental nature of psychological empowerment. There is currently
limited research on this relationship, yet the demand from organisations on executive
coaching (Smither et al., 2003; Thach, 2002; Wales, 2003; Wasylyshyn, 2003) and
the desire for more empowered staff is growing constantly (Houghton & Yoho,
2005; Spreitzer, 1992). Therefore the insights into the practical and psychological
processes gained through this research, for the field of executive coaching and for
organisations seeking to empower their employees, should begin to assist in a deeper
understanding of how leaders could develop psychological empowerment through
executive coaching.
Practical contributions
There is relatively little empirical support available to uphold much of the
anecdotal evidence being reported regarding the outcomes of executive coaching
(Finn, 2007; Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001; Smither et al., 2003; Wasylyshyn,
2003). One of the benefits of this research is that it primarily focussed on outcomes
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from executive coaching which were of a practical nature. The following
contributions will therefore contribute to the ongoing need for more empirical
evidence.
One consistent pattern emerged throughout this research as a part of coaching
leaders toward specific outcomes. It seems that with desired behavioural and/or
psychological outcomes from executive coaching, there is a need for coaching to
focus on the specific antecedents (or components) that make up these outcomes.
This was demonstrated through the two contrasting results in this study of leader-
empowering behaviours and affective commitment. There was a significant increase
in leader-empowering behaviours which were accompanied by a focus on its six
components (Konczak et al., 2000). In contrast the desired significant increase in
affective commitment levels was absent along with its antecedents such as,
managerial self-regulatory behaviours (Luthans & Peterson, 2003). Executive
coaches, therefore, in seeking consistent and effective results need to be skilled in
understanding outcome constructs and their antecedents.
In seeking greater psychological empowerment levels through executive
coaching, it seems that the most effective coaching paradigm develops goals with
leaders that resonate with their personal aspirations and that tie into the four facets of
psychological empowerment (see Figure 5.1). Thus, when leaders through coaching
were able to develop an action plan, which in their estimation would make a
difference (impact), resonate with what was important for them (meaning), give them
a sense that they had control over the direction (self-determination) and increase their
capacity (competency) without stressfully overextending them, it lead to a greater
feeling of being empowered through the process. It is suggested therefore, if
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executive coaching is to increase psychological empowerment levels, that at the
establishment of an executive coaching relationship an assessment process be used to
















Figure 5.1 Goal-setting leading to greater psychological empowerment

determine how much the focus is addressing leaders felt needs for personal and
professional success in their work.
Previous literature has discussed the positives and negatives of internal
coaching versus external coaching listing different causes (Wasylyshyn, 2003). In
regards to internal coaching, one of the main negative causes listed for
ineffectiveness seems to be the conflict of interest between supervisory requirements
Psychological
empowerment

Increased
levels
experienced

Executive
coaching

Work with
a leader
Goal-setting

Resonates
with leaders
personal
aspirations

Meets
organisational
strategic
intent




Process of goal-
setting with
leader

Work with leaders
perspective in
collaboratively
setting goals

Incorporate four
facets of psychological
empowerment within
action-planning
process.

Work with:
1. Impact: How they
think they can make
an impact

2. Meaning: resonates
with what is
important for them

3. Self-determination:
increase a sense of
control over future
direction

4. Competency:
Increase their sense
of capacity



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and working according to the agenda of the person being coached. This type of
conflict would likely interfere with confidentiality, limiting the sharing of issues that
may involve the supervisor, and may lead to worry that difficulties shared would
affect remuneration and promotional concerns (Finn, 2007).
In the literature there are currently conflicting perspectives offered regarding
the use of internal versus external coaches (Goldsmith, 2004; Hall et al., 1999;
Wasylyshyn, 2003). This study therefore has made a contribution to this debate
through conducting an initial examination on the effects of the variable of
supervisory authority with internal coaches. One advantage of this research was to
be able to remove from the full sample group of CITs (leaders as coaches) the small
subset which had no supervisory authority. After removing this subset, it revealed
that there was no longer a significant psychological empowerment flow on effect to
coachees. More rigorous empirical investigations need to be conducted, but initial
indications reveal supervisory authority has a negative impact upon the relationship
between executive coaching and psychological empowerment.
Furthermore, this research project has challenged the underlying assumption
that internal coaches within an organisation will inherently create a conflict of
interest with the employees they coach. A positive psychological empowerment
flow on effect was demonstrated with CITs from internal consultants (internal CMs)
trained in executive coaching methodologies (having no direct supervisory
authority), working side-by-side with external executive coaches (CMs).
From this result, it is posited that dynamics can be created, especially in a
large organisation, where specialised internal consultants trained as executive
coaches can offer significant confidential coaching. This outcome demonstrates
initial support for the concept postulated by Wasylyshyn (2003) of setting up internal
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coaches under the support and training of a key internal consultant / psychologist
(Chief Psychology Officer - CPO).
At this stage in the research, the executive coaching intervention had not yet
completed the process of handing over the full supervision of the training and
support. However, this second stage (second year) of implementation gives promise
to large organisations (perhaps geographically dispersed) regarding the strategy of
setting up internal coaching with similar positive dynamics found in external
executive coaching. Furthermore, it is suggested at this stage in the organisations
strategic plan that the ongoing implementation to fully hand over the training and
support to internal consultants will succeed. This has at least financial and strategic
implications for large organisations desiring to create greater feelings of
empowerment through executive coaching. Large organisations will need to
critically consider the impact of using the services of either a short-term external
executive coaching intervention to address intermittent immediate needs or
developing an integrated long-term strategy for developing quality internal coaching
services for addressing continuous improvement needs.
Through investigating the relationship between psychological empowerment
and affective commitment, it was discovered that there is a weak relationship
between the two constructs within a coaching relationship. Both constructs of
psychological empowerment and affective commitment focus on contrary aspects
within the leader regarding their relationship to the organisation in which they work.
Simply put, psychological empowerment looks at what the leader gets out of the
organisation (affection from) and affective commitment looks at what they put into
the organisation (affection toward). Dingmans (2004) research concurs with this
interpretation of organisational commitment by hypothesising that for higher levels
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of affective commitment to be achieved there needs to be a focus on the relationship
between the executive and the organisation in which they work. Thus, it is possible
that unless the executive coach is aware of this dichotomy they could be improving
one psychological affect while at the same time producing a negligible effect on the
results of the other.
Although executive coaching is a practice that significantly works on
transforming individuals within an organisation and can work around organisational
dysfunctions, this research has highlighted the need for coaching to account for
organisational contextual variables which tend to strongly affect individuals. This is
a timely contribution to current research, because Grant (2010) highlights a current
shift taking place in the application for executive coaching from simply working with
individual upper leadership to impacting organisational change initiatives. This
research project therefore directs attention to the need for vigilance over contextual
matters when implementing executive coaching. It also reveals the effectiveness of
an executive coaching intervention when it is implemented as an integrated
organisational strategy
Hence, unless an executive coaching intervention accounts for the macro
organisational contextual issues impinging upon individuals and groups within an
organisation, it is likely to miss an important influential variable, which can
negatively impact upon the intended results. One example of a macro environmental
factor discussed by Seibert et al. (2004) is the psychological climate of an
organisation, which is made up of the collective interpretations of the employees
within an organisation. This psychological climate affects employees motivations
and behaviours and is affected through three key practices: information sharing,
autonomy through boundaries and team accountability (Seibert, 2004).
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Thus, in the prelude to an executive coaching intervention there needs to be
an accurate assessment process of the unique organisation-wide contextual issues in
accompaniment with the individual leader assessments. Furthermore, coaches need
to check on perceived organisational changes through ongoing feedback with leaders
throughout the intervention. Assessing these micro and macro areas well would
enable the executive coaching intervention to navigate through these two key areas
making it conducive to accomplish optimum results.
Previous research has demonstrated how executive coaching creates a
significant influence upon executives goal-setting capabilities (Kombarakaran et al.,
2008). The previous literature has also given attention to the importance of goal-
setting abilities for leaders and its relationship with their motivation (Latham &
Ernst, 2006). Hence, this research project has highlighted further this relationship as
a result of leaders being coached and its flow on effect to their coachees. It has also
contributed to current knowledge in that it has demonstrated a relationship between
coached leaders improving in their goal-setting abilities and an increase in
psychological empowerment.
Limitations
The quantitative and qualitative studies in this research had strengths to
commend themselves in pursuing an accurate examination on the effects and
processes of executive coaching. However, in spite of these careful elements of
design, there are some limitations related to this study. The most significant
limitation was the small sample size, which minimised the statistical weight
supporting the conclusions made (Cohen & Kazdin, 2003). Thus, a larger sample
size may have led to receiving more significant effects from the executive coaching
outcomes with less overall effect on any negative responses.
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There are limits to generalisability in this study due to the single-
organisation, not-for-profit context. At this stage in the evolution of executive
coaching, most coaching is conducted within commercial and government contexts.
Further, individual not-for-profit organisational cultures are notoriously unique
(Speckbacher, 2003), which tends to make transferable comparisons between sectors
and other not-for-profits more challenging.
A further limitation was not having a control group to account for any
organisational anomalies that may have impacted the sample group/s outside of the
variables being tested. Although names of leaders of equal position within the
organisation were offered for a control group, securing one was unsuccessful.
The effects of executive coaching could not be entirely separated from the
training effect throughout the executive coaching intervention. Each leader who
received coaching in how to coach others also received training in the elements of
the coaching process. They read a text on the process and dynamics of coaching
which taught them a framework of coaching. The training involved workshop
experiences where participants practiced coaching techniques in triads. Therefore
the transmission of coaching competencies was not entirely produced through
executive coaching, but the coaching was enhanced by the training.
A further limitation was a 360 degree assessment used to aid leaders in
improving their coaching skills, although this was not completed until after the
qualitative interviews were conducted at the midway point of the intervention.
Nevertheless, the 360 degree assessment did aid in giving leaders feedback from
others near the end of their intervention regarding the level of proficiency of their
coaching. This feedback was then used in conjunction with training and further
coaching through the results.
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Finally, the research itself as an intervention would have impacted to some
degree upon the outcomes. The process of participants completing questionnaires
would likely have caused leaders to alter their thinking about coaching to some
extent. Additionally, the qualitative study which asked more in depth questions
would have fed back into the coaching process in unique ways for individuals. This
would likely have altered perceptions and perhaps actions in the coaching process for
leaders. Although, the questions were designed to draw out of the participants their
concepts about their experience of coaching rather than to feed into their
understanding during the interview process.
Further suggestions for future research
Executive coaching is still a burgeoning field which has enormous scope for
further investigation. Further exploration of executive coaching and its association
with the psychological and behavioural variables in this research through a
longitudinal study is suggested. Further, such a study could also incorporate post
sustainable change from executive coaching to understand the long-term effects of
executive coaching. Such a longitudinal study could also allow further testing on the
long-term effectiveness to maintain a quality coaching experience (standard) within
an organisation using an integrated organisational coaching approach such as the one
utilised in this study. Grant (2010) suggests that managers of workplace coach
training programs, who do not receive ongoing learning support after recently
completing workplace coach training, are more likely to experience initial
discouragement and not persevere through the initial adjustment period as they
develop their newly acquired skills. Therefore future research in this area could
focus more on what are the specific elements required in an effective post coaching
support program. Further study could also be done on the benefits of internal
David Allan Chapter Five
198

coaching in large organisations who experiment with coach/managers coaching
employees across other work units to create dynamics more in line with external
executive coaching. Further testing could therefore be done on variables like
supervisory authority in the coach and how it influences coachee results.
Additionally, further research should also focus on executive coaching which
targets specific antecedents of desired psychological and behavioural outcomes in
order to uncover the best strategic areas suited for executive coaching interventions.
Opportunities for further research also exist in examining whether certain
psychological affects tend to be mutually exclusive of one another within the
framework of an executive coaching intervention, or whether there is an acceptable
trade-off between the degrees of success amid multiple desired outcomes.
One hypothesis worth testing in regards to the relationship between executive
coaching and job satisfaction is whether executive coaching is likely to promote a
continuing increase or decrease in job satisfaction levels depending on whether the
existing level of job satisfaction is positive or negative. It is suggested that if job
satisfaction levels are heading on a trajectory to either high or low, then coaching
will promote that trajectory. It is possible that the low affective commitment levels
in this study impacted upon this dynamic and therefore further investigation is
required.
It would also be advantageous to conduct further research regarding the effect
of executive coaching on leader-empowering behaviours with either a young or
inexperienced group of leaders, where there is more room for significant growth.
Additionally, since large groups of participants within organisations receiving
executive coaching are scarce, further research opportunities need to be explored
David Allan Chapter Five
199

where a larger sample group and a control group can be utilised with a more rigorous
experimental design.
It would be beneficial for future research to further examine the flow on
effect of psychological empowerment being produced through executive coaching. It
would be helpful to understand whether the four facets of psychological
empowerment tend to develop at different rates. If they do, interviewing leaders at
different times throughout the process may produce different levels of intensity of
facets, creating different experiences of psychological empowerment. Further, if it
can be shown that a significant flow on effect of the four facets of psychological
empowerment do occur through multiple levels of leadership via executive coaching,
it could result in a greater return on investment financially and through increased
human development. Hence, through the cost of one individual being coached, many
in the organisation receive benefits that potentially are passed on.
Conclusion
Executive coaching is a widely utilised leadership development tool.
However, because it is a relatively new leadership resource only a limited amount of
empirical research has been conducted on its effectiveness at this stage. This
research has therefore sought to contribute to our understanding of this growing field
of practice. This project looked at answering four research questions by testing five
hypotheses. As a result, there are some helpful conclusions that can be made out of
this research on executive coaching.
In summary, executive coaching, especially when implemented as an
organisational-wide strategy, is an effective leadership development tool for
increasing leaders psychological empowerment levels. It is also effective in
building leaders leader-empowering behaviours, enabling them to perceive the
David Allan Chapter Five
200

progress they are making. Furthermore, these behaviours contribute to leaders
feelings of empowerment.
It was further demonstrated that executive coaching can impart coaching
skills to leaders, where they can in turn do the same over time. Additionally, the
process of cascading such a leadership development process throughout an
organisation also contributes to a flow on effect increasing levels of psychological
empowerment.
Finally, this research was also able to investigate the developmental nature of
psychological empowerment from executive coaching. In this specialised leadership
development process of imparting coaching skills to be cascaded throughout the
organisation, a proposed theory posited that the basic elements of executive coaching
(Table 5.3) collectively contribute to a number of executive coaching outcomes,
which in turn contribute to the four facets of psychological empowerment causing
leaders to feel more empowered. Thus insight into the developmental nature of
psychological empowerment was gained.






201

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List of Appendices
Appendix 1 Coaching model used in the training and coaching ........................... 208
Appendix 2 - Questionnaire for major measures ..................................................... 209
Appendix 3 - Semi-structured interview questionnaire (Spreitzer, 1992). .............. 217

























208

Appendix 1 Coaching model used in the training and coaching

Summary of solution-focussed five-step coaching model

Five step model / Framework
(similar to a GROW model)
Outline of content in program
(both training and coaching)
1. Developing the relationship
Relationship building / rapport / alignment /
empathy / developing a contract / setting
boundaries / (establishing, maintaining and
concluding relationship)
2. Assessing the current situation
Use of behavioural assessment / exploring
what is important for coachee, eg. values,
priorities, talents, future direction, career
/current obstacles & or frustrations
/commitment level
3. Developing an action-plan
On the basis of assessment brainstorming
/ developing a plan short-term & long-
term / clarifying the future direction /
creating specific action-steps / timeline /
keeping in step with organisation /
4. Exploring the necessary resources
needed
Arranging resources to achieve action-plan /
finances, time, people (who is on board?,
who wants to be / who can be?), knowledge
/ what is available? What is needed? What
is missing? What needs to be adjusted?
5. Ongoing regular review
Accountability between coaching sessions /
reflective learning what worked? What
did not? Why? What needs to change? /
formal review at mid-point and near
completion of contract /
Although the framework is presented and taught in a linier process, it is continually
emphasised that the whole experience of coaching is an iterative experience. One will
need to keep addressing relationship / assessment of current situation / plans / etc

209

Appendix 2 - Questionnaire for major measures
Description
This questionnaire is designed to assist researchers in evaluating the effects of coaching by examining
the effects of the coaching program you are participating in within your organisation. The
questionnaire asks questions about your supervisory behaviours at work and your own personal
feelings of empowerment, organisational commitment, and job satisfaction at work. The project is
being undertaken as a part of a Masters project for David Allan.

Participation
We appreciate your participation in completing this questionnaire conducted as a part of this research,
which should take about 15 minutes. It is expected that this research project will be completed within
18 months.

Expected benefits
It is expected that this project will benefit you by informing HR on the best leadership development
strategies to employ, contributing toward organisation-wide improvements. The collective results
may also contribute to research being conducted at Queensland University of Technology and be used
in publications to further research into executive coaching.

Risks
There are no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with your participation in this project.
If for some reason you experience any distress as a result of participating in this research, QUT
provides for limited free counselling for research participants of QUT projects. Should you wish to
access this service please contact the Clinic Receptionist of the QUT Psychology Clinic on 3138
4578. Please indicate to the receptionist that you are a research participant.

Confidentiality
All comments and responses are strictly confidential. Any identifying information will only be seen
by QUT researchers for the purpose of more clearly researching the direct influences of executive
coaching upon leaders and how these influences affect their team members.

Consent to Participate
The return of the completed questionnaire is accepted as an indication of your consent to
participate in this project.

Questions / further information about the project
Please contact the research team members named above to have any questions answered or if you
require further information about the project.

Concerns / complaints regarding the conduct of the project
QUT is committed to researcher integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects. However, if
you do have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project you may contact the
QUT Research Ethics Officer on 3138 2340 or ethicscontact@qut.edu.au. The Research Ethics
Officer is not connected with the research project and can facilitate a resolution to your concern in an
impartial manner.
The following questions provide some background information that allows us to draw meaningful
interpretations from the other measures in this questionnaire. We ask you to give your name, so that
we can track changes in your responses over time. However, all information provided in this
questionnaire will remain confidential and no one within your organisation will have access to your
individual responses.

PARTICIPANT INFORMATION for RESEARCH PROJECT
Executive Coaching's influence upon, and through, leaders (Questionnaire)
Research Team Contacts
David Allan Research Masters Student Fran Finn QUT Lecturer
Phone: 07 5450 6300 Phone: 31381323
d3.allan@student.qut.edu.au f.finn@qut.edu.au

210

Section A: Background Information


1. Todays date _________ / __________ / _________
2. Your name _________________________
3. What is your gender? Male Female (Please circle one)
4. What is your age? ________ years
5. How many years have you been employed in your current organisation? _______
years

6. How many years have you been in your current position? ______ years

7. On what basis are you currently employed? (please circle one?)
Full-time Part-time Casual


8. Please indicate the highest level of education you have completed:

Less than year 12 .1 Honours/diploma .5
Year 12 completed .2 Masters degree .6
Completed technical
college course .3 Doctorate .7
Undergraduate
degree .4 Other please specify ____________________


9. What is your current leadership role in which you are being coached?
________________________________


10. From the 6 proposed coaching session you were to have with your coach, how
many sessions have you completed? __________________



11. What is the full name of your coach?
____________________________________



12. Why have you chosen to enter into a coaching relationship?
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________


211

Section B: Leadership Behaviour






Section B is concerned with how you perceive your
leadership behaviours being displayed to your work unit
members. Please answer each of the following
questions by circling the number which best describes
how you see your own behaviour.






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13. I give the authority my team members need to make
decisions that improve work outcomes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
14. I hold my team members accountable for the work
they are assigned
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
15. I help my team members arrive at their own solutions
when problems arise, rather than telling them what
they should do

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
16. I share information that my team members need to
ensure high quality results

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
17. I encourage my team members to use systematic
problem-solving methods.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
18. I risk mistakes on the part of my team members if,
over the long term, they will learn and develop as a
result from the experience

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
19. I give my team members the authority to make
changes necessary to improve things

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
20. I hold my team members accountable for
performance and results
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
21. I rely on my team members to make their own
decisions about issues that affect how work gets done

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
22. I provide my team members with the information
they need to best serve others in their role

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
23. I provide my team members with frequent
opportunities to develop new skills

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
24. I encourage my team members to try out new ideas
even if there is a chance they may not succeed

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
25. I delegate authority to my team members that is
equal to the level of responsibility they are assigned

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
26. I hold my team members accountable for maintaining
good relationships among the people they work with

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
27. I encourage my team members to develop their own
solutions to problems they encounter in their work

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
28. I ensure that continuous learning and skill
development are priorities in my work unit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
29. I focus on corrective action rather than placing blame
when team members make mistakes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

212


Section C: Your own feelings of Empowerment
This section of the questionnaire asks you about your
own feelings of empowerment within your work role.
Please answer each statement by circling the number
which best describes how you feel






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30. The work that I do is very important to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
31. I am confident about my ability to do my job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
32. I have significant autonomy in determining how I do
my job
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
33. My impact on what happens in my work area is
significant
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
34. My job activities are personally meaningful to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
35. My job is well within the scope of my abilities 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
36. I can decide on my own how to go about doing my
work
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
37. I have a great deal of control over what happens in
my work
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
38. I really care about what I do in my job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
39. I am self-assured about my capabilities to perform
my work activities

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
40. I have significant influence over what happens in my
work
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
41. The work I do is meaningful to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
42. I have mastered the skills necessary for my job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
43. I have a chance to use personal initiative in carrying
out my work
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
44. My opinion counts in my team members decision
making
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Section D: Feelings of Job Satisfaction
This section of the questionnaire is concerned with how
satisfied you feel with various aspects of your job.
Please answer each of the following statements by
circling the number which best describes your
satisfaction level ranging from very dissatisfied to
very satisfied.

On my current job this is how I feel about:












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45. The chance to do different things from time to time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
46. The chance to be somebody in the community 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
47. Competence of my supervisor in making decisions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
48. Being able to do things that dont go against my
conscience
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

213

49. The chance to do things for others 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
50. The chance to lead other people in what to do 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
51. The chance to do something that makes use of my
abilities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
52. The way organisational policies are put into practice 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
53. My pay and the amount of work I do 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
54. The chances for advancement on this job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
55. The freedom to use my own judgement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
56. The chance to try my own methods of doing the job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
57. The working conditions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
58. The way team-members get along with each other 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
59. The praise I get for doing a good job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
60. The feeling of accomplishment I get from the job 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Section E: Feelings of Organisational Commitment
This section of the questionnaire is concerned with how
committed you feel towards the organisation in which you
work. Please answer each of the following questions by
circling the number which best describes how you feel.






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61. I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career
with this organisation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
62. I really feel as if this organisation's problems are my
own
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
63. I do not feel a strong sense of "belonging" to my
organisation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
64. I do not feel "emotionally attached" to this organisation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
65. I do not feel like "part of the family" at my organisation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
66. This organisation has a great deal of personal meaning
for me
1 2 3 4 5 6 7


















214

Section F: Executive Coaching Relationship

This section of the questionnaire is concerned with your
feelings about the relationship you had with your coach.
Remember the results of this questionnaire will be kept
confidential and your individual responses will be
combined with those of other leaders. Please answer
each of the following questions by circling the number
which best describes how you see things.








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67. My coach established a climate of trust 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
68. My coach was empathetic and understanding 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
69. My coach was committed to helping me achieve my
goals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
70. My coach created a partnership with me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
71. My coach remained calm when my emotions were
aroused
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
72. My coach regularly encouraged me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
73. My coach listened to my ideas attentively 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
74. My coach asked questions that helped me gain greater
awareness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
75. My coach was patient while listening to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
76. My coach encouraged me to discover my own
solutions
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
77. My coach consistently drew me out so that I felt
heard and understood

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
78. My coach helped me explore my choices and
possibilities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
79. My coach stimulated me to think more clearly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
80. My coach stimulated me to get in touch with my
emotional responses
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
81. My coach stimulated me to explore new ideas and
behaviours
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
82. My coach assisted me in working through resistance to
change
1 2 3 4 5 6 7














215


95. How often did your coaching sessions take place (circle the phrase which best
applies)?
a. Bi-weekly (twice each week)
b. Weekly (once each week)
c. Bi-monthly (twice each month)
d. Monthly (once each month)
e. Other (please specify)
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Section G: Executive Coaching Process

This measure of the questionnaire asks you how you
feel about the executive coaching process. Please
answer each of the following questions by circling the
number which best describes how you see things.








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83. My coach and I developed a confidential (written
or oral) contract outlining the formal coaching
relationship

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
84. My coach and I developed clear objectives and
expectations for the coaching relationship

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
85. My coach helped me clarify initial problem areas to
work on
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
86. My coach and I spent time together to build mutual
trust and respect for one another

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
87. My initial coaching sessions included some type of
personal overview of my strengths and
developmental needs

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
88. My coach enabled me to understand the
commitment level to change I needed to make in
order to address issues that arose

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
89. My coach enabled me to step back and see the big
picture dynamics behind specific events

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
90. My coach offered clear feedback from information
gathered during the assessment stage of coaching

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
91. My coach used frequent, nonjudgmental feedback
that was tied to specific events, actions and
behaviors

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
92. My coach and I jointly developed an action plan to
achieve specific goals

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
93. Each coaching session worked towards developing
clear action-steps tying back to a clearly defined
action plan, connecting to an overall purpose


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
94. My coach and I conducted an evaluation of my
action plan in order to check my development after
a certain amount of time

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

216


96. How many scheduled coaching appointments were cancelled? ___________
Why? ________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

97. What mode of coaching was most often used? (circle the response which
best applies?)
a. Face-to-face
b. Phone
c. E-mail

98. How many coaching sessions did you complete? ________ sessions

99. In months, how long did the coaching relationship last? _______months

100. Any further comments that you feel may be helpful
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
_____________________


d3.allan@student.qut.edu.au

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.
YOUR RESPONSES ARE APPRECIATED

Just click on the complete button when you have completed the questionnaire.





















217

Appendix 3 - Semi-structured interview questionnaire (Spreitzer, 1992).

Questions two through nine, end with an italicised term revealing how the question
connects to one of the four facets of psychological empowerment.

1. What benefits, thus far, if any, have you been able to experience from being
coached?
2. Some people say that coaching has helped them to find more meaning in their
work having been coached to this point, how do you respond to this
statement (Meaning)?
3. Do you feel that coaching has helped you have an increased impact upon the
outcomes your organisation is producing please explain? What, in your
coaching experience, do you think has brought about this feeling (Impact)?
4. Do you feel that coaching has increased your personal sense of purpose about
what happens in your work? What is there about the coaching that has
caused this change (Meaning)?
5. Has coaching enabled you to increase your feelings of how much you make a
difference in your work? Please expand on reasons for your answer
(Impact)?
6. Has being coached helped you to increase your confidence about how you do
your work why, or why not (Competency)?
7. Do you feel that your abilities to do your work have increased through being
coached please explain (Competency)?
8. Has being coached enabled you to use more, or less, personal initiative within
your place of work please explain (Self-determination)?

218

9. As a result of being coached, do you feel that you have more control, or less
control over the direction you choose for yourself in your place of work (Self-
determination)?