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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Coaching:  Past Research, Current Practices and Some Recommendations

Presenter: Stephen Zaccaro

This presentation provides a review of past research and practices in the evaluation of leadership coaching interventions.  We will also present an integrative framework of coaching evaluation that includes (a) multiple summative criteria used to assess the overall effectiveness of coaching, and (b) formative evaluation processes used to improve ongoing coaching dynamics.  We will conclude by summarizing factors that should be the central focus of coaching evaluation, and recommendations to advance research on such evaluations. 


     Ely, K., Boyce, L. A., Nelson, J. K., Zaccaro, S. J., Hernez-Broome, G., Whyman, W. (in press).  Evaluating leadership coaching:  A review and integrative framework.  Leadership Quarterly

     Feldman, D. C. & Lankau, M. J. (2005). Executive coaching: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Management, 31, 829-848.

     Joo, B. (2005). Executive coaching: A conceptual framework from an integrative review of practice and research. Human Resource Development Review, 4, 462-488.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the state of research and practice in evaluating leadership coaching interventions
  • Identify integrated forms of coaching evaluation and their respective utility in improving coaching effectiveness
  • Describe critical factors and criteria to consider when evaluating coaching programs
  • Explain the unique challenges to evaluating coaching programs
  • Identify optimal approaches (methodological/design as well as researcher-practitioner collaborations) to evaluating coaching programs that address these unique challenges
  • Identify trade-offs that need to be considered in selecting methods to evaluate coaching programs and goals/objectives that can be used to navigate such trade-offs