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Executive Coaching as a Transfer of Training Tool: Effects on Productivity in a Public Agency


Abstract and Figures

This action research is the first reported attempt to examine the effects of executive coaching in a public sector municipal agency. Thirty-one managers underwent a conventional managerial training program, which was followed by eight weeks of one-on-one executive coaching. Training increased productivity by 22.4 percent. The coaching, which included: goal setting, collaborative problem solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation of end-results, and a public presentation, increased productivity by 88.0 percent, a significantly greater gain compared to training alone. Descriptions of procedures, explanations for the results obtained, and suggestions for future research and practice are offered.
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Executive Coaching as a Transfer
of Training Tool: Effects on
Productivity in a Public Agency
This action research is the first reported attempt to examine the effects of executive coaching in a public
sector municipal agency. Thirty-one managers underwent a conventional managerial training program,
which was followed by eight weeks of one-on-one executive coaching. Training increased productivity
by 22.4 percent. The coaching, which included: goal setting, collaborative problem solving, practice,
feedback, supervisory involvement, ex .!uation of end-results, and a public presentation, increased pro-
ductivity by 88.0 percent, a significantly greater gain compared to training alone. Descriptions of proce-
dures, explanations for the results obtained, and suggestions for future research and practice are offered.
Gerald Olivero
K. Denise Bane
Richard E. Kopelman
Ninter 1997)
Numerous factors have been identified that influence the extent to which
knowledge acquired during classroom training transfers to the job (e.g., the
work environment; the personality of the trainee).
There is considerable
evidence that a critical factor influencing transfer of training is the extent to
which the trainee receives the opportunity for practice and constructive
One-on-one executive coaching can provide this opportunity.
Coaching trainees once they return to the job can facilitate the transfer of
training, especially if the coaching fosters the development and use of
knowledge imparted during training. Through coaching, trainees have a
safe, personalized environment in which practice and feedback can take
In recent years, there has been particularly rapid growth in the use of
one-on-one executive coaching.
Among the organizations adopting this
practice are: American Express, the American Management Association,
AT&T, Citibank, Colgate, Levi Strauss, Northern Telecom, NYNEX
Corporation, and Procter & Gamble.
Yet, the use and efficacy of one-on-one
executive coaching has not, to date, been reported in a public sector munici-
pal agency. To our knowledge, the present action research is the first such
Various methods of executive coaching have been employed; some pro-
grams, grounded in a psychodynamic perspective, aim to ameliorate per-
sonal problems; others are more directive, using, for example, goal-setting,
feedback, and collaborative problem-solving.
The present intervention
entailed the latter approach, emphasizing: (1) goal-setting, (2) collaborative
problem solving, (3) practice (4) feedback, (5) supervisory involvement, (6)
evaluation of end-results, and (7) public presentation.
Through one-on-one executive coaching, managers were given the opportu-
nity to practice and obtain constructive feedback regarding the subject mat-
ter they had "learned about" during training. Each coach met individually,
on a weekly basis, with one or more managers. Managers received coaching
on topics such as
ersonal issues, project planning, implementation of
changes, and the probable short- and long-term impacts of their actions on
Public Personnel Management Volume 26 No. 4 (Winter 1997)
Gerald Olivero, Ph.D., is
President, Human Resources
Solutions, Inc. He is a New
York State Licensed
Psychologist, an Adjunct
Management Professor at
Baruch College, past reviewer
the Journal of Applied
and has 22 years of
consulting experience.
their personal performance and on the performance of their units.
Naturally, all feedback was constructive in nature, and induded suggested
modifications in behavior where appropriate.
The seventh component of coaching, public presentation, was a central facet
of the present intervention. The managers who were coached were notified
at the outset that they would be required to make an oral presentation of
their results, accompanied by a written report, to a group composed of their
peers, supervisors, and (importantly) top-level executives—including the
agency commissioner.
Thirty-one participants (top-level managers, mid-level managers, and super-
visors at a health agency in a major Northeastern city) participated in this
action research. All participants volunteered to participate in both phases of
this endeavor. Phase One consisted of classroom training, Phase Two
entailed one-on-one executive coaching.
During Phase One, the senior author served as the classroom instructor, and
the 31 participants were called "trainees." During Phase Two, the senior
author served as consultant to eight managers. The consultant taught these
eight managers how to be one-on-one executive coaches. The project for
these managers (coaches) was to coach the 23 remaining participants
(coachees) during ?hase Two.
Procedure: Phase One
The 31 trainees acquired knowledge of managerial competencies° during
classroom-style, three-day, interactive, training workshops, conducted by
the external consultant. The workshop content provided an overview of the
most important roles managers and supervisors needed to enact to increase
productivity, quality, and effectiveness within the agency. Trainees learned
to identify the roles they had been enacting, new roles they should consider
enacting, and when various roles were appropriate. Thus, the training
phase emphasized two of the four training environments described by Sims
and Sims: those that are perceptually and symbolically complex.?
Trainees completed a knowledge inventory before and after the workshop.
They also completed a questionnaire at the end of the workshop that
gauged their reactions to the training and the instructor.
Procedure: Phase Two
During eight weeks of on-the-job consultations, the senior author provided
the eight coaches with detailed coaching processes and advice tailored to
the agency's context; this facilitated the latter's success with their respective
coachees. Each coachee was required to conduct a real work project that
could be completed during Phase Two, and that would enhance work-unit
performance, esp jolly productivity, quality, and effectiveness. Each project
was chosen by the coachee, subject to approval by his or her administrative
supervisor, and from his or her functional supervisor where appropriate.
Coaches worked individually with their coachees to monitor, and enhance
project progress.
K. Denise Bane, Ph.D. is an
Assistant Professor of
Management in the School of
Business at Baruch College,
CONY. She teaches organiza-
tional behavior and employee
development and training.
Her research interests include
organizational justice and
employee training and devel-
Public Personnel Management Volume 26 No. 4 (Winter 1997)
Richard E. Kopelr
SPHR, is Professo
Management at B
College and Acad
Director of the Ba
Executive MSILR
The author of Ma
Productivity in
(McGraw-Hill), al
articles in profess
academic journal
research and con
focused on mana
mance improverr
ed by
Iv of the
by Sims
entral facet
re notified
ation of
ed of their
ling the
Ind super-
1 in this
phases of
uctor, and
;ht these
?ct for
Richard E. Kopelman, D.B.A.,
SPHR, is Professor of
Management at Baruch
College and Academic Co-
Director of the Baruch
Executive MSILR Program.
The author of Managing
Productivity in Organizations
(McGraw-Hill), and numerous
articles in professional and
academic journals, his
research and consulting have
focused on managing perfor-
mance improvement.
c1 to
Each coach provided feedback and guidance during confidential, weekly,
one-hour coaching sessions that occurred over a period of two months. The
content of the feedback emphasized the process of enacting new managerial
competencies (behaviorally specific skills) and implementing new measure-
ment and control systems. Feedback to coachees was also provided by
phone, fax, e-mail, memoranda, and regular mail during Phase Two.
Although each project was tailored to the specific needs of the individual
coachee, and to his or her unit, all projects shared common characteristics:
Each project had a written plan;
Each project had a time-defined beginning, middle, and end;
Each project had customers (internal and/or external) who benefited
from it;
Each project influenced the work behavior and job performance of
one or more of the coachee's subordinates;
Each project was evaluated against qualitative, and where possible,
quantitative, criteria;
Each project was completed within two months.
In summary, eight projects focused on coaching others, and 23 projects
focused on enhancing individual and unit performance. All participants
(coaches and coaulees) orally reported on their respective projects in a
meeting attended by their peers, supervisors, and top executives. Each oral
report included a description of the project objectives, agency-related out-
comes, personal skill enhancements, and reactions to Phase Two.
Additionally, all participants were required to submit a written report con-
taining the same information. It will be noted that the coaching phase
emphasized the remaining two training environments identified by Sims
and Sims: those that are affectively and behaviorally complex.
Phase One: Training
Trainees were trained in two groups (to reduce the number of
trainees in each workshop). The trainees rated their workshop on five
dimensions using a 5-point scale, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent: useful-
ness of materials (4.82), instructor's knowledge (4.88), instructor's facilita-
tion (4.88), overall instructor rating (4.94), and overall workshop rating
(4.85). The mean rating across both training groups and all five dimensions
was 4.87.
Trainees also provided numerous unsolicited laudatory comments regarding
the instructor and the workshops on the rating forms. Many also requested
follow-up assistance in transferring their new knowledge to the job.
Traine s responded anonymously to a knowledge assessment
pre-test administered before training began. They also responded anony-
mously to a parallel post-test at the end of their workshop. The results for
both groups combined were: 71.1 percent correct for the pre-test versus 88.0
Executive Coaching
percent correct for the post-test. Because trainees provided a four-digit code
number on their pre- and post-tests, it was possible to match their scores
and to perform a paired t-test. The increase in percent of correct answers (24
percent) was statistically significant (t = 4.78, p < .001).
All trainees reported that the training would improve their skill in
several behaviorally-based managerial competencies. Nevertheless, it is
acknowledged that these reports were essentially impressionistic and
The training workshops stressed the importance of developing
specific quantitative indices of production and productivity, and obtaining
systematic data on outcomes in order to control work. Notwithstanding the
fact that productivity did improve after training (and will be reported later),
and that measurement and documentation were emphasized in training, no
quantitative data were collected by trainees after training alone.
Phase Two: Coaching
Virtually all coaches and coachees reported favorable reactions to
the coaching phase (Phase Two). Two themes emerged prominently from
their comments: coaching was beneficial to them personally, and coaching
was beneficial to the agency. These reactions were not, though, quantitative-
ly measured.
A sample of coaches provided knowledge data before and after
coaching. Although the results indicated a 20 percent increase in test scores,
the number of cases (n=4) was too small to permit any statistical inferences.
As part of the coaching phase, coachees were asked to retrieve
and analyze data on their productivity levels at three points in time: before
training, after training but before coaching, and after coaching. As noted
above, prior to the coaching phase, no coachees had gathered quantitative
data. This is an important issue. Although training alone was found to have
improved productivity, coachees did not begin to seek evidentiary docu-
mentation of results until they received coaching. Productivity (or produc-
tion) data were collected for the post-training period in nine cases, in the
post-coaching period in 13 cases, and after both training and coaching in
seven (see Table 1).
The key outcome criterion was an index of productivity, defined
outputs divided by inputs. For illustrative purposes, the
data pertinent to case number 12 (Table 1) are reviewed next. The criterion
for this case was the percentage of timely and fully completed patient evalu-
ation forms (PEFs) per employee. Before training, only three out of 17 PEFs
were completed fully and on time (17.6 percent), and there were four
employees to perform this task—yielding a baseline productivity index of
4.4 percent. (That is, the outputs [.1761 divided by inputs [4] yielded a pro-
ductivity index of .044.) After training, 18 out of 28 PEFs were completed
fully and on time (64.3 percent), and this was accomplished by six employ-
ees—a productivity index of 10.7 percent representing an increase in pro-
ductivity of 143 percent. After training and coaching, 16 out of 20 PEFs were
completed fully and on time (75 percent), a feat accomplished by seven
employees, for a productivity index of 11.4 percent—an increase of 159 per-
cent over baselinL (i.e., before both training and coaching).
Public Personnel Management Volume 26 No. 4 (Winter 1997)
Table 1: 1'
After Trail
Note: in
In each case where productivity data were not obtained, it was assumed for
data analytic purposes that the actual productivity effect in the work unit
was nil. (The assumption of a nil [zero] effect in such cases is a conservative
one.) After training alone, the average increase in productivity was 22.4 per-
cent. When training was augmented by coaching, the average increase in
productivity was 88.0 percent. The difference in the magnitude of produc-
tivity improvement was statistically significant (t = 2.03; p < .05). Further, in
those work units where both post-training and post-coaching data were col-
lected, the median effects on productivity were 33 percent and 167 percent,
respectively—a finding significant on a nonparametric basis at p < .01
(binomial sign test).
Table 1: Percent Change in Productivity After Training Alone and After Training Coaching
After Training Alone
After Training and Coaching
Productivity Computed
% Change in
Productivity Computed
% Change in
3 Yes
No a
na '
8 Yes
Yes 103
No '
na ' No '
na '
No '
na '
No '
No '
na '
No '
na "
Change in Productivity (or Pro'luction) after training compared to before training
Change in Productivity (or Production) after training and coaching compared to before training
Not calculated or no written report
Not applicable; Project consisted of improvement in interpersonal relationships
Not applicable; Project generated a plan or program where productivity was not applicable
Note: in all cases (superscripts a, b, and c) where productivity and productiond data were not available or not
applicable, a zero effect was assumed.
Discussion and Conclusions
The present research demonstrates the dramatic effects of one-on-one exec-
utive coaching as a transfer of training tool. As is typical of many manage-
ment training programs today, the training phase focused on enhancing
participants' self-awareness, and knowledge of managerial competencies
-digit code
r scores
mswers (24
leir skill in
s, it is
nding the
aining, no
ctions to
td after
;t scores,
: before
to have
es, the
t evalu-
' PEFs
9( of
' per-
Executive Coaching
that they could potentially use in their current supervisory or managerial
jobs. Although the training phase emphasized the importance of developing
indicants to track progress, none of the trainees systematically or quantita-
tively measured productivity after training alone. However, after trainees
underwent one-on-one executive coaching, archival data were collected
indicating that training alone increased productivity by 22.4 percent. Most
importantly, training, when augmented with coaching, yielded productivity
increases almost four times the level achieved by training alone (88.0 per-
There are a number of explanations for the dramatic increase in productivity
as a result of coaching. The coaching phase consisted of one-on-one interac-
tions emphasizing (1) goal-setting, (2) collaborative problem solving, (3)
practice, (4) feedback, (5) supervisory involvement, (6) evaluation of
end-results, and (7) public presentation. While all of the steps in the coach-
ing were important, we believe goal-setting and public presentation were
Several researchers have indicated that goal-setting leads to higher transfer
With one-on-one executive coaching, the coach and the coachee
worked together to define concrete actions (goals) that coachees would
undertake by the end of the coaching phase. In order for goal-setting to be
effective, the goa: must be specific, challenging, measurable, assignable,
realistic, and time-bound.
All these conditions existed in the present action
research intervention.
Goal-setting has also been demonstrated to enhance perceived self-effica-
Because one-on-one coaching provided participants with hands-on
experience performing the tasks they had learned about in training, they
were able to receive feedback regarding the results of their actions from the
job itself (when production and productivity were measured), organization-
al peers, superiors, coaches and customers. Consequently, they saw the
extent to which their newly-acquired knowledge had been converted to
practical skills that had positive utility. In essence, the positive reinforce-
ment from all sources enhanced participants self-efficacy.
The requirement of a public presentation underscored a central feature of
the intervention: namely, that it was important to the highest executive lev-
els of the agency. The oral presentations reflected on the achievements of
both the participants and their supervisors and no doubt served as an addi-
tional incentive for the participants.
Also, due to the fact that the training and coaching culminated in the com-
pletion of an actual project, the trainees found the training eminently use-
ful. Our endeavor underscores the importance of developing skills rather
than merely transmitting knowledge, an issue identified by Gaziel as critical
for successful training.
Unfortunately, oftentimes trainees find training to
be "too academic
The present project coupled training with the opportu-
nity for further learning (coaching), a combination often needed for public
sector career development."
Because the present intervention was undertaken as part of a contracted
training intervention, rather than as a research effort, the selected design
did not permit the conduct of a field experiment, viz., random assignment
of participants to experimental and control groups. As Cummings and his
Personnel Management Volume 26 No. 4 (Winter 1997)
ent. Most
88.0 per--
me interac-
ng, (3)
he coach-
on were
r transfer
ing to be
;ent action
g, they
from the
ed to
ture of
itive lev-
?nts of
an addi-
re corn-
ly use-
is critical
-ring to
id his
colleagues noted in 1985, the conduct of action-oriented inquiry, i.e.,
research that is undertaken for practical purposes, typically rules out the
conduct of rigorous studies, because numerous changes need to be incorpo-
rated simultaneously.
Consequently, it is not possible to rule out definitive-
ly several threats to internal validity. It might be argued, for example, that
additional training could have produced the added benefits obtained after
the coaching phase. Yet, it should be emphasized that it was only after
coaching that any of the participants measured performance—not one
trainee measured performance after training alone.
It might also be argued that the coaching phase merely provided the oppor-
tunity for more training, rather than providing a substantively different
experience. We would counter that there is a qualitative difference in the
type of learning that takes place in training and coaching, each phase serv-
ing a unique purpose. The training provided a period of abstract learning of
principles, while the coaching facilitated concrete involvement in a project
specific to each participant's work unit. These two experiences provided a
program sufficiently balanced for individuals with differing learning styles.
In a larger sense, both phases constitute "training," but each provided a
unique contribution to the learning experience. As noted by Sims,
trainees are provided with a number of varying learning experiences, the
optimal learning environment is created. One suggestion for future research
would be to corn' .:re the results of a "training-only" condition and a
"coaching-only" condition, in order to capture the distinct impact of each
form of learning.
In a similar vein, it is not possible to determine which of the seven facets of
the coaching process were most instrumental in enhancing performance,
given the present research design. Perhaps the requirement of a public pre-
sentation, by itself, might have yielded a significant increase in job perfor-
mance. While we believe that goal-setting and public presentation were crit-
ical elements of the coaching phase, future research might also examine the
relative importance of each of the elements of executive coaching.
The benefits from managerial training will likely be suboptimal if there is
limited follow up, feedback, and measurement of outcomes (end-results).
Executive coaching is an important way of ensuring that knowledge
acquired during training actually emerges as skills that are applied at work.
. The importance of the work environment has been examined by J. Bruce Tracey, S. I.
Tannenbaum, and M. J. Kavanagh, "Applying trained skills on the job: The importance of the
work environment,"
Journal of Applied Psychology
80, no. 2 (1995): 239-252. The relationship
between the personality of the trainee and the transfer of training has been researched by A.
Tziner, R. R. Haccoun, and Avi Kadish, "Personal and situational characteristics influencing the
effectiveness of transfer of training improvement strategies,"
Journal of Occupational Psychology
64, no. 2 (1991): 167-177.
Irwin L. Goldstein, Training in Organizations, 3d ed., (Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1993): 115;
Kenneth N. Wexley and
C ry
P Latham,
Developing and Training Human Resources in
Organizations, 2d ed., (New York: Harper-Collins, 1991): 73-80; and Gary P Latham and Lise M.
Saari, (1979). "The application of social learning theory to training supervisors through behav-
ioral modeling,"
Journal of Applied Psychology
64, no. 3 (1979): 239-246.
Richard Koonce, "One on one,"
Training and Development
48 (February 1994): 34-40; Bernard
Johann, "The meeting as a lever for organizational improvement," National Productivity
Review 13, no. 3 (1994): 376-377; and Adam Snyder, "Executive coaching: The new solution,"
Management Review
84 (March 1995): 29-32.
4 Lee Smith, "The executive's new coach,"
(27 December 1993): 126; and Snyder,
Executive Coaching
"Executive coaching," 29.
Snyder, "Executive coaching," 30.
For example, Robert E. Quinn et al.,
Becoming a Master Manager: A Competency Framework
York: Wiley, 1990).
Ronald R. Sims and Serbrenia J. Sims, "Improving training in the public sector,"
Personnel Management
20 (Spring 1991): 75-77.
. Ibid., 75-78.
James Anderson and Kenneth N. Wexley, 'Applications-based management development: A
method to promote practical application of managerial and supervisory training,"
Administrator 28 (November 1983): 39-43; Michael Feldman, "Successful post-training skill appli-
cation," Training and Development Journal (September, 1981): 72-74; Edwin A. Locke and Gary F.
Goal Setting: A Motivational Tool That Works
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984);
and Kenneth N. Wexley and Timothy T. Baldwin, "Post-training strategies for facilitating posi-
tive transfer: An empirical exploration,"
Academy of Management Journal
29, no. 3 (1986): 503-520.
°- G. Doran, "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives," in
Dynamics of Management,
ed. by Gerald Olivero (New York: New York City Dept of Personnel,
Bureau of Professional Development, 1993) 134; and Edwin A. Locke, and Gary F. Latham,
Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990): 29-31.
. Colette A. Frayne, and Gary P Latham, "Self-management training for increased job atten-
dance: A follow-up and a replication,"
Journal of Applied Psychology
74 (1989): 411-416.
Haim H. Gaziel, "Managerial studies and perceived job performance: An Israeli case study,"
Public Personnel Management
23 (Summer 1994): 341.
A. Carol Rusaw, "Mobility for federal women managers: Is training enough?"
Public Personnel
23 (Summer 1994): 258.
Ibid., 261.
Thomas G. Cummings, Susan A. Mohrman, Allen M. Mohrman, and Gerald E. Ledford,
"Organization design for the future: A collaborative research approach." In Edward E. Lawler
III, Allan M. Mohrman, Jr., Susan A. Mohrman, Gerald E. Ledford, Jr, Thomas G. Cummings,
and Associates (Eds.). Doing Research That is Useful for Theory and Practice
(San Francisco:
Josey-Bass, 1985): 284-289.
Ronald R. Sims, "The enhancement of learning in public sector training programs,"
Personnel Management
22 ( .immer 1993): 253.
Anderson, J. and K. N. Wexley. 1983. "Applications-based management development: A method to
promote practical application of managerial and supervisory training,"
Personnel Administrator
28 (November): 39-43.
Cummings, T. G., S. A. Mohrman, A. M. Mohrman, and G. E. Ledford, "Organization design for
the future: A collaborative research approach." In E. E. Lawler III, A. M. Mohrman, Jr., S. A.
Mohrman, G. E. Ledford, Jr., T. G. Cummings, and Associates (Eds.).
Doing Research That is
Useful for Theory and Practice
(San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 1985): 275-305.
Doran, G. 1993. "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives." In
Dynamics of Management,
ed. by Gerald Olivero, New York: New York City Dept of Personnel,
Bureau of Professional Development, 134.
Feldman, M. 1981. Successful post-training skill application.
Training and Development Journal
(September): 72-74.
Frayne, C. A. and G. P Latham. 1989. "Self-management training for increased job attendance: A
follow-up and a replication."
Journal of Applied Psychology
74 (June): 411-416.
Gaziel, H. H. 1994. "Managerial studies and perceived job performance: An Israeli case study."
Public Personnel Management
23 (Summer): 341-356.
Goldstein, I. L. 1986.
Training in organizations: Needs assessment, development and evaluation.
Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Johann, B. 1994. "The meeting as a lever for organizational improvement." National Productivity
Review 13, no. 3: 369-377.
Koonce, R. 1994. "One on one." Training and Development
48 (February):34-40.
Latham, G. P and L. M. Saari. 1979. "The application of social learning theory to training supervi-
sors through behavioral modeling."
Journal of Applied Psychology
64, no. 3: 239-246.
Public Personnel Management Volume 26 No. 4 (Winter 1997)
Locke, E
NJ: Pr
NJ: Pr
Sims, R
Sims, R
Smith, 1
ing tl
For further informa
Inc., 521 Fifth Avem
t development: A
-training skill appli-
Locke and Gary F.
rentice-Hall, 1984);
r facilitating posi-
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Dept of Personnel,
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NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Locke, E. A. and G. F. Latham. 1990. A
theory of goal setting and task performance.
Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Quinn, R. E., S. R. Faerman, M. P Thompson, and M. R. McGrath. 1990.
Becoming a master manager:
A competency framework,
New York: Wiley.
Rusaw, A. C. 1994. "Mobility for federal women managers: Is training enough?"
Public Personnel
23 (Summer): 257-262.
Sims, R. R. 1993. "The enhancement of learning in public sector training programs."
Personnel Management
22 (Summer): 243-255.
Sims, R. R. and S. J. Sims. 1991. "Improving training in the public sector."
Public Personnel
20 (Spring): 71-82.
Smith, L. 1993. "The executive's new coach."
27 December, 126-134.
Snyder, A. 1995. "Executive coaching: The new solution."
Management Review
84 (March): 29-32.
Tracey, J. B., S. I. Tannenbaum, and M. J. Kavanagh. 1995. "Applying trained skills on the job: The
importance of the work environment."
Journal of Applied Psychology,
80, no. 2: 239-252.
Tziner, A., R. R. Haccoun, and A. Kadish. 1991. "Personal and situational characteristics influenc-
ing the effectiveness of transfer of training improvement strategies."
Journal of Occupational
64, no. 2: 167-177.
Wexley, K. N. and T T Baldwin. 1986. "Post-training strategies for facilitating positive transfer: An
empirical exploration."
Academy of Management Journal
29, no. 3: 503-520.
Wexley, K. N. and G. P Latham. 1991.
Developing and training human resources in organizations.
ed. New York: Harper-Collins.
For further information about this study, please contact Gerald Olivero, Ph.D., Human Resource Solutions,
Inc., 521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10175-0003, (212) 316-2800, Ext. 5403.
)pment: A method to
;onnel Administrator
nization design for
ihrman, Jr., S. A.
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objectives." In
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raeli case study."
tional Productivity
bald E. Ledford,
Edward E. Lawler
nas G. Cummings,
in Francisco:
ncy Framework
to training supervi-
0. 4 (Winter 1997)
Executive Coaching
... Peterson found that clients, on average, achieved significant improvement on all measures of outcome related to coaching objectives (effect sizes d>1.5). Olivero et al. (1997) studied managers who had taken part in a three-day educational training course followed by eight weeks of coaching. They found that both the training and the coaching increased productivity considerably, with most of the increase attributable to the coaching (increase of 22.4 per cent with training alone and of 88.0 per cent with training and coaching, that is, almost fourfold; a difference which was significant at the p<0.05 level). ...
... Also, the studies include a variety of processes which might themselves affect outcomes, such as explicit goal-setting, written development objectives, 360º feedback and other assessment tools, manager involvement, and even training programmes and a presentation to senior executives to summarise achievements (e.g. Olivero et al., 1997). Treating this body of research as equivalent is too simplistic. ...
... Treating this body of research as equivalent is too simplistic. That said, what is striking is that the first five research papers above (Peterson, 1993;Olivero et al., 1997;Thach, 2002, Bowles et al., 2007Perkins, 2009), which did not make use of a contemporary control group, found large effects (d >0.75), generally larger than those found in psychotherapy. On the other hand, the more rigorous studies involving control groups (such as Allen et al., 2004;Smither et al., 2003;and Evers et al., 2006) only found small effects, generally smaller than those found in psychotherapy (d<0.5; ...
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Purpose This contribution argues for a new way of studying executive-coaching outcome. The argument accepts that we are not likely to get rigorous data on coaching outcome from well-designed clinical trials in the near future, and assumes a degree of effectiveness that is based upon the first indications and the more rigorous studies that have been undertaken in psychotherapy. Assuming a moderate degree of effectiveness has afforded a concerted effort amongst researchers to identify the ‘active ingredients’ which predict the effectiveness of executive coaching. Design/Methodology This article contains a detailed overview of the quantitative studies of executive coaching undertaken to date. It covers both the body of evidence which we believe substantiates our key assumption of general effectiveness and some early research findings resulting from using that assumption. It also gives a brief overview of the findings of the more rigorous randomised control trials in psychotherapy outcome. Altogether we believe we have demonstrated that there are sufficient parallels between the new path of coaching outcome research and the well-trodden path of psychotherapy research to enable the exploration of ‘active ingredients’ research in executive coaching. Results By combining the early results in coaching research described in this paper and the overview of meta-analysis studies in the parallel field of psychotherapy, we have been able: (1) to show that – although the effect sizes in coaching are generally found to be smaller than in psychotherapy – it is safe to assume that executive coaching is generally an effective intervention, and: (2) to use that assumption as a basis for further coaching research. We have used this assumption ourselves to carry out research into the ‘active ingredients’ of effective coaching and to design a new research programme on a scale that has not previously been possible. Conclusions It is time now to be creative and pull together the limited resources for research we have in coaching psychology. As a profession we should make the most of this opportunity to discover how we might improve our service to our clients.
... The reality is once back in the office they are overcome by their everyday job responsibilities and the good intentions they had of implementing these new ideas are put aside with the thought of "I'll get to it later". To assist with transferring or implementation of knowledge to daily practice, the coaching model was incorporated into the UMTM because of its success in this area (Gerald, Denise, & Kopelman, 1997;Ken Blanchard Companies, 2008). In addition, the inclusion of evaluation to the model not only as a means to obtain knowledge gain and satisfaction of training participants but also as a means of collecting data to assess and guide the transfer of learning process that assures appropriate implementation. ...
... As noted by Ken Blanchard companies (2008), training is an ongoing learning process that extends beyond the classroom training sessions. A study done by Gerald, Denise, & Kopelman, (1997) found that combining training and coaching yielded high productivity rates among managers. They added that coaching provides an opportunity to develop skills and can be seen as an extension to training. ...
... The evaluation component of the UMTM is guided by the Kirkpatrick taxonomy (1967) of training evaluation which has been historically used to evaluate trainings in the child welfare field (Antle, Barbee, & Van Zyl, 2008;Gerald et al., 1997). The model evaluates trainings at four different levels: reactions, learning, transfer, and organizational outcomes (Kirkpatrick, 1967). ...
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The aim of this empirical paper was to show the relationship between the effectiveness of Human Resource (HR) professionals and some selected organizational factors(namely leadership, organizational support and reward system).The study focused on HR professionals in Multimedia University(MMU),anIT-based private university in Malaysia. It had adopted a mixed method methodology combining an in-depth telephone interview with a senior HR manager in MMU and asurveyoflecturersinMMUMelakacampus.150questionnairesweredistributed to the said lecturers but obtained a response rate of 44 per cent. The findings from the survey(and the interview)found a strong correlation between leadership(0.699) and organizational support (0.673) and HR professionals’ effectiveness.
... In addition, the context of coaching has now been acknowledged more explicitly and the complex milieu of considerations, social constructions and expectations more fully appreciated. Examples of coaching in the public sector (Olivero et al., 1997), business (Leedham, 2005), teaching (Killion, 2002) and medicine (Atik, 2000) etc., can, therefore, be found. A significant body of research upon the outcomes of Objectives: There is increasing recognition of coaching's situated nature. ...
... In addition to the above benefits for organisations, coaching research and practice has explored impact on individuals. Fundamental performance has altered in terms of productivity (Olivero et al., 1997) and response to empowerment (Lazar & Bergquist, 2003). ...
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Resistance from coachees is a problem met by executive coaches in all fields. The continued interest in executive coaching by organisations has seen coaching beginning to be used more widely. An increasing number of low and average performing managers are following theirhigh performing peers into the executive coaching room. One particular challenge facing the coaching psychologist is how to engage individuals where motivation for change is low. This paper draws on a five-stage model for behaviour change and an approach developed in the clinical setting which can usefully be applied to executive coaching to help the coaching psychologist address some of these behavioural challenges and add to their core coachingtechniques through combining Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques with their existing repertoire of skills. The paper starts with a review of the development of motivational interviewing, before moving to explore the evidence for MI as an intervention, which is largely within the health sector. The paper builds on this evidence by exploring how MI may be applied within non-clinical settings, as a tool to address poor performance resulting from low motivation to change.The paper also suggests other potential uses for MI such as in health coaching around stop smoking campaigns or obesity.
... In the first phase, which incorporates publications up until the beginning of the 21 st century, scholars were concerned with identifying and defining coaching as a workplace practice. The majority of this body of work was conceptual or adopted a qualitative research design with the aim of explicating the process of coaching, i.e., describing the construct and its constituent parts (e.g., Evered & Selman, 1989;Olivero, Bane, & Kopelman, 1997;Tobias, 1996). During this phase, several well-known coaching models were outlined (e.g., Allebaugh, 1983;Whitmore, 1992). ...
... • Coaching being at the 'heart' of management. Olivero, Bane, & Kopelman (1997) • Executive coaching impacts on training transferability. • Training coupled with coaching yielded productivity increases almost four times higher than those of impact of training alone. ...
... Research studies have shown that mentoring in support of training courses greatly helps trainees to remember and to transfer the material they have been learning into their occupations. See, for example, Olivero et al. (1997). ...
... Coaching. The significant relationship for coaching with employees' perceptions of organisational importance is consistent with previous studies examining the effectiveness of coaching in improving work-based outcomes including goal accomplishment (Fischer andBeimers, 2009), professional growth (McGuffin andObonyo, 2010), improved professional relationships (Kombarakaran et al., 2008), increased productivity (Olivero et al., 1997), improved resilience and workplace well-being (Grant et al., 2009), positive effects for learning and performance outcomes (Jones et al., 2015) and potentially, enhanced perceptions of the learning environment (Daniëls et al., 2021). ...
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Purpose This study aims to investigate the relationship between different organisational development programmes (360-degree feedback; Coaching; Job assignment; Employee assistance programmes; On-the-job training; Web-based career information; Continuous professional development; External education provision) and employees’ career development. The implications of the moderating effects of gender on the relationships between these eight organisational programmes and career development are assessed. Design/methodology/approach To examine hypothesised relationships on eight organisational programmes and career development, this paper computed moderated regression analyses using the PROCESS macro (3.5), for a two-way analysis of variance (Hayes, 2018). The data collected are based on a survey sample of employees (n = 322) working in Scotland. Findings Two main findings arose from this empirical study. First, there are significant direct relationships between seven out of the eight organisational development programmes and their influences on employees’ career development. Second, gender is a significant moderator for four of the programmes’ relationship with career development, namely, coaching, web-based career information, continuous professional development and external education provision. However, gender failed to moderate the four other programmes’ (i.e. 360-degree feedback, job assignment, employee assistance programmes and on-the-job training) relationship with career development. Originality/value This paper concludes that closer attention should be given to the organisational design of these development programmes and consideration of potential gender differences in employees’ perception of their importance for career development in their organisation. To date, the majority of research in the literature has concentrated on the impact of training on career development, so this study contributes to the body of knowledge on a set of organisational development programmes and their effect on career development moderated by gender.
... Prevatt, 2016;Räsänen et al., 2016). It may also enhance the transfer of training and productivity (Olivero et al., 1997). ...
Job crafting is an employee-initiated form of proactive job redesign, that has, in recent years, attracted substantial evidence for its associations with work engagement and employee well-being. Yet, despite this research, the advantages of integrating job crafting within a coaching partnership have not been examined. We address this gap in the present chapter, which is structured as follows. First, we explore the evolution of job crafting theory, benefits of job crafting, and examine how coaching could be complementary to job crafting efforts. In particular, we argue that coaching can help improve the duration and structure of job crafting interventions, with coaches providing psychological support and guidance throughout the job crafting process. Second, we explore how job crafting could be integrated with coaching, by providing practical tools and examples. Finally, we end by providing a case study that explores how job crafting could be successfully applied within a coaching partnership.
This book captures the story of how internal coaching was introduced and has since evolved in the U.S. Federal Government. It provides coaches and government agency leaders with skills and tools to help them implement their own successful coaching programs. Written by leaders in the field, the book follows the stories of several pioneers who have implemented coaching programs in government, aiming to help coaches learn from their mistakes and gain from their wisdom. Filled with interviews, case studies, reflective questions, and how-to action points, each chapter accessibly highlights the successes and failures of each program's journey so that professionals can incorporate these lessons in their own practice. Chapters take readers from the beginning considerations to contemplating the future of their programs, focusing on setting a vision, overcoming issues and challenges, leveraging predictors of success, making key decisions, building foundations for sustainability, and creating continuing education for sustainment of change. Accessible and relatable, these stories will help professionals learn from those that have come before them, helping them begin the groundswell of change effectively and proactively in their own programs. This book is essential reading for coaches and government agency leaders, as well as for any public sector agency and any private sector organization that is interested in implementing coaching. Table of Contents 1. Setting A Vision 2. Capturing the Business Case 3. Overcoming Challenges 4. Leveraging Predictors of Success 5. Starting Off Intentionally 6. Sustaining A Vibrant Program 7. Establishing Good Governance 8. Supporting Professional Development 9. Contemplating the Future 10. An Opportunity for Change Appendix 1: Tributes to Coaching Pioneers Appendix 2: Tools and Templates Appendix 3: Expanding Your Portfolio Author(s) Biography Dr. Theodora J. Fitzsimmons is a leadership development expert, leadership and executive coach, coach trainer, coach mentor, and coaching supervisor with decades of experience in the public and private sector. Marykate Behan Dougherty is a project management professional, coach, coach trainer and mentor, and leadership development expert with over 30 years of private, government, nonprofit, and international experience. Alan Lee Myers, MA, PCC is a leadership and organizational development professional, leadership/executive coach, coach trainer, mentor coach, coaching supervisor, and public health specialist with over 35 years of government and nonprofit experience. Reviews "I am delighted to endorse this publication as the authors are true leaders in the field of coaching and supervision. They are passionate about having more coaches in government, in organizations, and in the world. In addition, they champion the global view that coaching can help with significant challenges around diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging. The authors have, in my view, expertly documented the lessons they learned so that others can continue their own learning and growth. Their work is innovative as they are bringing robust coaching to all government employees by creating internal coaches. This is evident as they are emphasizing the need for quality by ensuring coaches have accredited training, mentoring, and also by introducing vital coaching supervision. This results in highly skilled and professional coaches who are equipped to support senior leaders. Highly recommended." Jackie Arnold, Author, Researcher, accredited ICF Coach and DIP CSA Coach Supervisor "Settle into this journey of pioneers, tenacious practitioners, and enthusiastic educators—together developing a community of coaches within the federal government setting. This book captures the heart of their work as the authors reflect on myriad facets of the endeavor towards a sustainable coaching program. Engaging "hearts and minds" throughout the system is important, and for those looking for hard monetary figures, the authors provide fascinating and pragmatic insights into capturing the business case; illustrating return on investment and expectation; and inviting the reader to harness the wider system to leverage the indicators of success. The quality of our conversations matter. The authors illustrate how the program has changed relationships far beyond immediate coach training. In their own words: Learning to be a coach is a transformational skill for work and life and a powerful way of being that changes both the workplace and the world. With a comprehensive story to tell, and places to pause and reflect at the end of each chapter, the authors engage readers—and provide hope for those who face similar terrain in the most complex of settings." Jo Birch, MA FRSA, Executive Coach, Supervisor, Director of International Supervision Training Programs "What you will learn from Coaching in Government is just like coaching—it’s about change. The change is about envisioning, building, and sustaining a successful coaching program within government from the voice of experience." Joel DiGirolamo, Vice President of Research and Data Science, International Coaching Federation "The difference between effective and ineffective politicians and bureaucrats is how well they listen. Coaching helps those in the world of politics and government be more authentic and more connected. At the same time, it’s becoming a core skill for them to apply in learning from and with their stakeholders. I welcome the contribution this book makes to the field." Professor David Clutterbuck, Author, Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, Consultant, Mentor "Congratulations to the contributors to this book. I’m excited to see this book coming to fruition. A good template for large organizations that want to build a coaching culture. I wish I had this when I designed the large public service program many years ago." Lily Seto, MA, PCC, ESIA, Canada "The pioneers who wrote this book deeply believed in coaching and its potential impact on the leadership and culture of the U.S. Federal Government. The book shares the history of coaching in the federal government, and how to launch, expand, and sustain coaching programs within government agencies. This book is a treasure trove of lessons learned and solid advice, and a testament to the vision of a small group of believers who persisted and have made a palpable difference for government leadership." Chris M. Wahl Former President of Georgetown University Coaching Program, Consultant LLC
Strengths‐based goal setting (SBGS) is a synthesis of positive organizational development and social psychology. Drawing on self‐determination theory and its premise that people have three basic psychological needs that are the basis for motivation to modify behavior and actions, this chapter proposes that SBGS will increase dependent levels of performance, compared to using a traditional approach. The unique theoretical perspective behind the proposed direction of research suggests that SBGS, which is directed toward satisfying the basic needs, augment engagement and well‐being. Generic off‐the‐shelf interventions may appeal to management due to false promises of fast, easy, and cost‐effective implementation but rarely include an initial context‐based needs assessment to target the root cause of deficiencies. The proposed intervention in the chapter presents a unique, “intergr‐AI‐tive” compendium of goal setting within performance review meetings, conflating both traditional and new perspectives on increasing performance in a way that benefits both employers and employees.
Using findings from both traditional and positive psychology research, this chapter focuses on how coaching is conceptualised and the motivations for coaching as it is delivered to individuals in community and organisational settings. The differences among coaching and other interventions such as mentoring, counselling, supervision, and training are detailed. The theoretical evidence for coaching from the disciplines of psychology and education, as well as from management research, are summarised. Coaching in contemporary practice is goal-oriented and solution-focused. Developmental, humanistic, and positive psychology techniques are used to address the client’s needs and promote their mental and emotional wellbeing. Coaches utilise cognitive behavioural psychology to assist clients reframe their mental model and dispel limiting beliefs. Within educational research, coaching is positioned as a developmental, learning opportunity for clients to develop self-efficacy so they become motivated to achieve behavioural change. Clients who believe in their ability to learn, perform, or change as a result of effort, persistence and, at times, assistance, are malleable. Within management, coaching approaches focus on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies to enhance leadership and executive development, job satisfaction, motivation and work performance, and interpersonal and team relationships. This research evidence supports the emergence of coaching as a profession and contributes to a growing body of knowledge and theory into the development of coaching as a discipline.
This article attempts to build on recent work on individual learning differences by discussing several psychological learning models and their importance to training in public agencies. The article first presents several ideas on the concept of learning along with accepted principles of learning. The article then addresses the question of “How do people learn?” and offers the views of Dewey, Kolb, and others on learning and thinking styles as frameworks for increasing our understanding of the learning process and enhancing training in public agencies. Finally, potential applications of learning and thinking styles information are presented to summarize the ideas presented in the article.
This paper was designed in order to know how far skills needed for the future manager (according to the literature) correspond to what managers' students perceive as important, and how courses of a management training program perceived contributing in performing a managerial job effectively. Data were collected from a sample of 190 managers from the public sector, who participated in the Bar Ilan University (Israel), managerial training program, from 1986/87 to 1989/90. The participants were requested to complete an attitude survey questionnaire. Findings largely reflect the world of the future manager mentioned in the literature. As regarding the usefulness of the managerial training program to job performance, findings indicate that the management training program correspond only partially to what is needed for performing one's job effectively. Too much time was devoted to transmitting knowledge rather than indoctrinating skills.
Conducting training programs in public agencies in a manner that fosters employee development requires identification and management of those aspects of the training program influencing the learning process. This article discusses the importance of managing the learning process in training in public agencies by adapting training methods to a particular employee's learning style. Such an approach creates training activities and training environments which improve the effectiveness of public agency training programs.
Despite impressive gains in employing women as managers, the federal government continues to promote women slower and promote them less than their male counterparts. Agencies have used training programs to close grade and pay gaps on the assumption that skills acquisition will make women more promotable. The author's recent doctoral dissertation assessing the role of training and development in career histories of 14 women managers in five different federal organizations found training as a mobility strategy of limited impact. The article highlights reasons for this and recommends strategies which human resource professionals and policy makers can use to strengthen the role of training and development.