1st Edition

What Works in Executive Coaching Understanding Outcomes Through Quantitative Research and Practice-Based Evidence

By Erik de Haan Copyright 2021
    198 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book reviews the full coaching outcome research literature to examine the arguments and evidence behind the use of executive coaching. Erik de Haan presents the definitive guide to what works in coaching and what changes coaching brings about, both for individual coaches and for organisations and commissioners.

    Accessibly written and based on contemporary quantitative research into coaching effectiveness, this book considers whether we know that coaching works, and, if so, whom it works for, and what it offers to those involved. What Works in Executive Coaching considers the entire body of academic literature on quantitative research in executive and workplace coaching, assessing the significant results and explaining how to apply them. Each chapter contains direct applications to coaching practice and clearly evaluates the evidence, defining what really works in executive coaching.

    Alongside its companion volume Critical Moments in Executive Coaching, this book is an essential guide to evidence-based effectiveness in coaching. It will be a key text for all coaching practitioners, including those in training.


    Chapter 1: Does executive coaching work? Is coaching worth the effort?

    Chapter 2: What works in executive coaching? What makes coaching really worthwhile?

    Chapter 3: The coaching relationship as ‘best predictor’? How does the working alliance help to achieve outcomes?

    Chapter 4: Which outcomes does coaching actually deliver? What does executive coaching work on?

    Chapter 5: What perceptual biases may be at play? Can we trust a coach’s perceptions of coaching?

    Chapter 6: What about negative side effects of coaching? Are there risks? Can coaching do harm?  


    Subject Index

    Author Index


    Erik de Haan studied Theoretical Physics and undertook his PhD in Psychophysics. He is Director of the Ashridge Centre for Coaching at Hult International Business School, UK, and Professor of Organisation Development at the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the programme leader of Ashridge’s MSc in Executive Coaching and PG Diploma in Organisational Supervision. He has published more than 200 professional and research articles and 14 books, covering his expertise as an organisational consultant, therapist, and executive coach.

    'This is a great contribution to the practice and science of coaching… This book celebrates the exciting journey of discovery that workplace coaching scholars have achieved to date and on the same breath highlights areas that need to be further addressed.' — Dr Gil Bozer

    'This book will be an instant classic! It can advance coaching research in many ways. Not only does it provide a comprehensive review of the literature to date, it also reviews this literature in an open, critical, courageous, and creative way... This book should be on the reading list for everyone who is professionally involved in coaching in any way.' — Dr Tim Theeboom

    'Thank you for the opportunity to read your new book which builds bridges and at the same time offers both interesting controversies and new impulses. I love the way you write: well understandable; reflective; tying all these loose ends in coaching research; and interesting for both practitioners and researchers.' — Professor Patrizia Ianiro-Dahm

    'I found this book extremely interesting, very well written and actually a pleasure to read. I loved the vignettes at the beginning of each chapter: they fit very well. I also appreciated that every chapter starts with the controversies – as a way to acknowledge the issues even before the successes of coaching, which is rare compared to a lot of the uncritical enthusiasm that coaching often elicits.' — Professor Silvia Dello Russo

    'I like that this book provides an eminently clear expression of the factors that contribute to quality in quantitative research in coaching and overviews the intricacies of research in a way that is accessible and should increase the research literacy of readers. What I especially appreciated was the view that good quality coaching research is bloody hard to do; something that (I suspect) is not so well appreciated… So much of what you say is not just relevant for practitioners and the purchasers of coaching, but also for researchers, who can sometimes become blinkered in their work and benefit from helpful reminders.' — Dr Gordon Spence

    'This book presents the entire spectrum of empirical coaching research to date and depicts an almost complete status quo of coaching research.

    The book is therefore suitable for researchers to identify the gaps that coaching research has not yet addressed and for practitioners of any school and any methodological background who either want to read up on the subject of effectiveness or are motivated to gain inspiration on how to enrich their coaching practice with evidence-based elements and "magic ingredients" that help their clients the most.

    I am convinced that this book will be a future standard reference for coaching researchers and practitioners interested in evidence-based coaching and, despite the title, definitely is not limited to executive coaching.' – Dr Katharina Ebner, Senior Lecturer, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany; psychologist and career coach

    'The author has captured a broad and comprehensive review of the research literature on what works, for whom, and under which circumstances regarding executive and workplace coaching. Combining quantitative research and practice-based evidence, this will be an inspiring text for both academics and professional coaching practitioners.' – Dr M. Josefina Peláez, Universitat Jaume I, Spain