To read this content please select one of the options below:

The nature of peer coaching: definitions, goals, processes and outcomes

Marcia S. Hagen (Department of Management, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA)
Tani K. Bialek (Learning and Professional Development, RSM US, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)
Shari L. Peterson (Department of Organizational Leadership Policy and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The purpose of this research is to create a definition of peer coaching using literature from various and disparate organizational and educational contexts. This research is intended to clarify what constitutes peer coaching overall, and guide the ever-growing practice of peer coaching.


This research uses a combination of inductive and deductive qualitative approaches through the implementation of qualitative content analysis (QDA). The research used a data reduction process with 87 existing scholarly articles in the area of peer coaching, in which the researchers focused on selected aspects of the data and followed the practice of staying close to manifest artifacts within the data.


The results of the qualitative data analysis indicated that five themes emerged within the literature. Themes were as follows: program structure, purpose and goals of peer coaching, peer coaching processes and mechanisms in which peer coaching is conducted, outcomes of peer coaching and relational contexts and functions of peer coaching relationships.


While there is an increase in peer coaching, research on this type of coaching is scarce with few empirical studies on the topic: what has been conducted has not been particularity reliable (Hagen and Peterson, 2014); and most of the published research is limited to education, nursing, other medical contexts and non-profit organizations. This research helps to clarify the nature of peer coaching and create a cogent definition that defines formal peer coaching within all peer coaching contexts.



Hagen, M.S., Bialek, T.K. and Peterson, S.L. (2017), "The nature of peer coaching: definitions, goals, processes and outcomes", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 540-558.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles