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|Title: ||Critical success factors in executive coaching: a survey in the Irish health service [thesis] / by Rose Doyle|
|Other Titles: ||A dissertation submitted to the University of Dublin, Trinity College in partial fulfilment of the degree of M.Sc.Mgmt|
|Affiliation: ||Health Service Executive (HSE)|
|Issue Date: ||2005 |
|Description: ||This study focussed on the following question: what are the critical success factors in executive coaching, from the coachees’ points of view?
My hypothesis was that patterns would emerge across individual perceptions of the process and across recommendations for the future, although I did not predict what these might be.
The setting consisted of multiple agencies across the Irish health service in 2004 – 2005, to which I was given access by the Office for Health Management. The OHM had organised two rounds of executive coaching for senior managers in 2000 – 2002.
The focus for the research design was provided by Downey’s (2003) definition of coaching and by a model of evaluation borrowed from training, Kirkpatrick’s (1996) four levels of reaction, learning, transfer and results. I contacted the forty managers who agreed to participate in order to explore levels 1 to 3 with them. The difficulties of applying level 4 were too well-documented for me to attempt it within the constraints of this study. I interviewed five managers; surveyed thirty-three others and analysed the data using a grid of fourteen categories.
The critical success factors that emerged from this study were:
• coachee autonomy regarding the decision to embark and selection of the coach, resulting in his investment in the process
• trust in the coach: his integrity, competence and loyalty
• the confidential nature of the bilateral sessions
• protected reflection time during and after sessions (e.g. learning log)
• using the coach as a sounding-board
• the opportunity for growing self-awareness accompanied by honest challenge.
Respondents were also asked for their recommendations on the future use of executive coaching within their organisations. A divergence emerged between a group favouring a highly structured approach involving tripartite agreements for the organisation, coach and his manager and a code of standards for coaches, on the one hand and a group taking a contingency approach, on the other.
My findings corroborate those of a USA study on coaching outcomes and only partially, those of a German study on inputs to the process. They add some data on the importance of autonomy, trust, confidentiality, reflection time and self-awareness, to the relatively limited body of empirical research on the evaluation of executive coaching, using Kirkpatrick’s levels.
As I see it, the implications of these findings for the Irish health service, as it moves into what Greiner (1998) called the coordination phase, are that future national decision-makers should consider (a) mainstreaming emotional intelligence into management development and (b) the dilemmas inherent in executive coaching, as the use of such informal developmental opportunities becomes more widespread, such as the tension between organisational goals and individual autonomy.|
|Keywords: ||ONE TO ONE EDUCATION|
|Local subject classification: ||COACHING|
|Appears in Collections: ||Theses|
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