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Evidence on the impacts of business coaching

James G. Wiginton III ( Broad Insights , Greenville, South Carolina, USA )
Phillip A. Cartwright (Department of Economics, PSB Paris School of Business , Paris, France )

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 28 February 2020

Issue publication date: 28 March 2020




Based upon a survey of 87 companies having used the services of business coaches, this paper considers the extent to which coaching is likely to be beneficial to a leader's business success as well as that of the respective company.


The research methodology is mixed methods and survey-based combining quantitative Likert scaling with open-ended questions.


At the 99 percent confidence level, surveyed respondents believe that, on average, the coaching process has provided results above the investment required and has led to progress for them and their organizations. Of the six targeted areas, five showed a very positive relationship between the coaching experience and the results from its clients.

Research limitations/implications

As the research is based on a convenience sample it has shortcomings relative to probability sampling. However, it is widely recognized that such samples can be attained more easily, more rapidly, and at less cost than probability-based samples. On the other hand, it is understood that inferences to broader populations of interest are limited.

Practical implications

The results confirm findings from past research such as that reported by the Institute of Coaching (2018), that managers should not undervalue potential contributions to individual and company attributes from coaching.


The motivation for this paper is to bring together both academic and practitioner experience to provide more evidence and understanding related to the coaching definition, its implementation, and effectiveness. While not conclusive in the absolute sense, the original data original collected and analyzed for this research is based on known client contacts in close time proximity to the coaching engagement and delivers added insight to current research.



This article is based upon Wiginton (2018), A Case Study: Broad Insights, A Survey of Business Coaching Impacts on Companies and Their Leaders, Executive DBA dissertation, PSB Paris School of Business. The authors acknowledge the helpful contributions of Professor Josse Roussel and Professor Sylvaine Castellano, PSB Paris School of Business as well as Professor W.B. Howieson, Editor in Chief, Journal of Management Development and anonymous referees.


Wiginton, J.G. and Cartwright, P.A. (2020), "Evidence on the impacts of business coaching", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 163-180.



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