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

Evaluating coaching’s effect: competencies, career mobility and retention

Jessica M. Reyes Liske (Department of Organization Development, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA)
Courtney L. Holladay (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 5 September 2016




Leadership coaching has become an increasingly common method to maximize competency development and behaviors for organizational leaders as well as to improve retention and career mobility. Few empirical studies have tested its capacity to generate such outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a coaching program within a healthcare organization, showing significant impact to the leaders’ behaviors and retention, measured through non-self-report data.


In the present study, the behaviors associated with leadership competencies were evaluated using a quasi-experimental design to determine if significant gains have been achieved following a coaching intervention when compared to prior competency ratings. Retention and career movement of participating leaders were tracked to compare rates against a control group.


In the present study, leadership coaching was evaluated. Results indicate that individuals who participated in the program, in comparison with those that did not, showed significantly improved leadership competencies and significantly higher retention rates one year post-program. Implications for leadership development programs are discussed.

Research limitations/implications

One possible limitation of this study is the program structure in the experimental condition received both individual and group coaching so the competency improvement cannot be parsed out to one type of coaching vs another. The authors suggest that this limitation is an opportunity for future research to explore differing effects by coaching type.


This study provides the healthcare organization with unique quantitative data regarding the positive implications of a leadership program that has not been reported previously. The findings will provide further justification to support leadership coaching programs.



The authors of this paper would like to acknowledge the participants of this study who demonstrated a personal commitment in improving their leadership behaviors and competencies.


Reyes Liske, J.M. and Holladay, C.L. (2016), "Evaluating coaching’s effect: competencies, career mobility and retention", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 37 No. 7, pp. 936-948.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles