Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The personal, business, and executive coaching industry is large and growing. In spite of the size and growth of the industry, the coaching research literature reveals a lack of understanding about the competencies of outstanding executive coaches. This grounded-theory study sought to discover a model of executive coach competencies, through in-depth interviews with coaches rated as outstanding by a large purchaser of coaching services. Sixteen coaches participated in the recorded and transcribed interviews. A line-by-line analysis of the transcripts led to a competency model for executive coaching. For the coaching research community, this study will fill a key gap in our understanding of executive coach competencies. For coaching practitioners, this study will clarify what it takes to become an outstanding executive coach. For prospective coaches, this study will help in self-assessment against competencies and in selecting appropriate coach education programs to fill competency gaps. For buyers of coaching services, this study will be helpful in improving coach recruitment and selection procedures. In addition, large organizations with internal coaching programs might find the results of this study useful in selecting and preparing their coaches. Finally, for coach educators, this study may point to changes in curriculum, and to changes in how students are admitted, trained, and evaluated.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Bates, Reid