Coaching executive teams to reach better decisions

Shlomo Ben‐Hur (IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Nikolas Kinley (Barclays Global Retail Bank, London, UK)
Karsten Jonsen (IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 13 July 2012



The purpose of this paper is to present a systemic approach to understanding the challenges facing executive teams in making good decisions and propose a simple framework for addressing these challenges.


Having identified Groupthink as a useful framework for understanding the challenges facing decision‐making groups, the paper reviews research into potential solutions and leverages case studies to propose a new model for tackling the challenges inherent in decision making.


The suggested model incorporates previously proposed process‐ and insight‐based solutions and adds a broader focus on information flow and how decision‐making behaviour is influenced and informed by the context in which it occurs.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises the role of a trusted, expert coach in implementing the proposed solutions and describes how coaches can leverage an understanding of the systemic nature of decision‐making behaviour to improve decision‐making ability in both teams and individuals.

Research limitations/implications

Areas for future research are identified and potential limitations to the model are discussed, in particular the impact of geographical and organisational cultural issues.


The paper questions the predominantly individual‐based approach to tackling the challenges of decision making and highlights additional interpersonal processes that can both cause and be the source of solutions to Groupthink.



Ben‐Hur, S., Kinley, N. and Jonsen, K. (2012), "Coaching executive teams to reach better decisions", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 31 No. 7, pp. 711-723.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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