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Coaching: an effective practice for business competitiveness

María Dolores Vidal‐Salazar (Department of Business and Management, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Vera Ferrón‐Vílchez (Department of Business and Management, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Eulogio Cordón‐Pozo (Department of Business and Management, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 28 September 2012




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of one of the more widespread techniques for personnel development and training: coaching. This technique in the business context entails boosting of a manager's capabilities so as to improve business results through a combination of experience, knowledge, support and the motivation provided by advisers who specialize in business management.


To analyze the effectiveness of this innovative technique, the authors examined a sample of 40 small companies located in Ceuta (an autonomous Spanish city in North Africa) using a Wilcoxon‐Mann‐Whitney test. Participants were divided into two groups; in one group, an individualized audit process was conducted to obtain an actual picture of managerial practices (focusing on needs and corrective measures). In the other group, an advising process also complemented a coaching phase that was implemented to facilitate employee adoption of the proposed measures. Ultimately, differences between these two groups were found.


Results indicate that coaching substantially increases the level to which processes of improvement are established within organizations, consequently increasing the competitive capability.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the potential benefits of the use of coaching in the business context. Coaching facilitates the implementation of a set of improvement measures designed to increase business competitiveness, suggesting that this type of advising stands to be very beneficial for companies.


Practices that lead to the development of human capital in organizations are basic tools for managers that are becoming increasingly essential for achieving business efficiency and strategic change. The paper analyzes the implementation of coaching in the business arena, specifically in the case of managers, which is a novelty given the dearth of empirical research on coaching. Thus, the results of the paper provide the wider academic community with empirical evidence on how coaching is a profitable practice for improving human resource management.



Dolores Vidal‐Salazar, M., Ferrón‐Vílchez, V. and Cordón‐Pozo, E. (2012), "Coaching: an effective practice for business competitiveness", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 423-433.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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