I?ve found some information about ROI on coaching. The
ExectiveCoachingForum.com website provides an excellent discussion of
the state of research in this industry. It points out that very little
peer-reviewed research has been done. I also found that the few
research studies are cited over and over again by individual coaches,
coaching companies and organizations and their customers. I?ve
provided you with a selection of links to articles that will give you
a good feel for how coaching has been implemented, the level of use in
companies, the categories of results achieved and some statistics on
ROI. I?ve also included some resources that provide comprehensive
bibliographies to help you continue your research if you?re
I trust that this information will meet your needs. Please don?t
hesitate to ask for clarification if you need additional assistance.
All the best.
~ czh ~
CURRENT STATE OF RESEARCH ON COACHING
The Executive Coaching Handbook
The Current State of Research
The research basis for executive coaching is, to date, minimal
(Kilburg, 2000). Most, though not all, writing in the field is based
on what can be termed practice wisdom. Individual executive coaches
have, not infrequently, described their practices, techniques, and
outcomes in articles and books, and have been the subject of reports
in the media. Their descriptions are essential for this emerging field
as practitioners struggle to define its phenomena and key variables.
Unfortunately, a variety of biases on the part of authors can
influence their descriptions of practice wisdom, limiting the degree
to which their conclusions can be valid or generalized.
Three research journals publish peer-reviewed articles on executive
coaching: Two additional practitioner journals have occasional
articles on executive coaching with some research basis, though such
articles are typically not peer reviewed:
Research on executive coaching that has been conducted as part of a
doctoral dissertation can be found at Dissertation Abstracts, which
can be accessed through a number of library databases including
Finally, a number of professional associations have research-based
presentations on executive coaching at their regional and national
In recent years, a number of consulting firms and business roundtable
groups have conducted research on executive coaching, though their
results are not always widely publicized or shared. Most are not
subjected to peer review.
Research in Executive Coaching
The purpose of the Research Page is to serve as a resource to
executive coaches, executives, HR and OD Professionals, researchers
and others involved with Executive Coaching who are interested in
promoting, conducting and accessing research on executive coaching. A
great deal of practice wisdom is available in books published by
executive coaches and in articles in a variety of industry and trade
magazines. Relatively few reports of empirical research are available,
(This site provides an extensive bibliography of the research that is available.)
ARTICLES AND REPORTS ON ROI ON COACHING
Coaching: The Fad that Won?t Go Away
Our findings in my firm's executive development surveys (mentioned in
the last column) indicated a dramatic increase in the use of coaching:
In 2004, 56% of the companies said that executive coaching would be a
major learning method they would emphasize. Then in a 2006 follow-up
survey, 51% said the use of coaching had actually increased. Given
this nearly miraculous change in the status of coaching we recently
decided, along with our research partner, Dr. Brian Underhill of
CoachSource, to conduct a major research project to explore the murky
world of executive coaching in depth.
Executive Coaching Has Measurable Impact on Enterprise ROI
A recent survey of 100 senior executives released by Right Managements
Consultants, a Philadelphia-based career transition and organizational
consulting firm, found that coaching strategies have had a measurable
impact on ROI. Senior executives report better relationships with
their direct reports, supervisors and peers, improved teamwork and
greater job satisfaction.
Organizational impact comes in the form of improvements in
productivity, cost containment, better relationships with the boss,
team or peers, less conflict management and in some cases retention of
the executive. Retention means more than a ?We may have to let you go?
scenario. The executive in line for coaching might say, ?This
organization isn?t working for me, and I?m going to start looking
around unless things get better.? McGovern explained, ?When you coach
somebody, you?re coaching someone who?s embedded in a particular
context. Often their boss, peers or other people in the organization
are part of the issue.?
The Bottom-Line Value of Executive Coaching
Summary: Return on investment of Executive Coaching is 570 percent
Fortune magazine recently reported the results of a poll of executives
and upper level managers who had six to twelve months of coaching with
a Masters or Doctoral level executive coach (Fortune 2/19/01).
The executives were asked to give a ?conservative estimate of the
monetary payoff from the coaching you received?. The survey
demonstrated that the recipients valued the executive coaching at six
times the cost that their company paid for the service. In other
words, a nine-month, $18,000 executive coaching program investment for
a VP, was given a rating of being worth six times that -- $108,000.
Not a bad ROI at all.
Executive Coaching ROI
Executive coaching is an outstanding investment to leverage people power:
Today, there are about as many different ways to measure the return on
investment (ROI) of executive coaching as there are coaching
techniques. Yet, ROI calculations continue to astonish even the most
results-oriented employer and prove, hands-down, the worth of
Alastair Robertson, manager of Accenture's worldwide leadership
development practice in Boston, says employers are shocked at how high
their ROI numbers are for coaching. He recalls a large employer in the
hospitality industry saved between $30 million and $60 million by
coaching its top 200 executives.
Corporate benefits received:
1. Delivered an average ROI of 5.7 times the initial investment (a
return of more than $100,000)
2. Executive productivity improvements (reported by 53% of executives)
3. Organizational strength (48%)
4. Quality improvements (48%)
5. Customer service improvements (39%)
6. Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
Case Study on the Return on Investment
of Executive Coaching
Merrill C. Anderson, Ph.D.
November 2, 2001
This executive briefing was excerpted from the final report of the
study conducted at a Fortune 500 firm and is intended for the private
use of MetrixGlobal clients and professional associates. Please
contact Merrill Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515 278-0051,
for additional information.
The Bottom Line: Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and
significant intangible benefits to the business. Including the
financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to
788%. The study provided powerful new insights into how to maximize
the business impact from executive coaching.
Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching
ROI Studies of Executive Coaching
What ROI Studies of Executive Coaching Tell Us
Originally published in the October 2004 Issue of Link & Learn.
Paul Wyman assembled these facts and comments about the benefits of
coaching, both for the individual and the organization.
(This site offers a selection of excerpts from various studies,
reports and articles.)
roi executive coaching
roi executive coaching research