Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impact on Learning and Leadership of Trainees in a Federal Agency Executive Coach Training Program: An Exploratory Case Study
by Urquhart, Darlene, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2018, 189; 10929429
Abstract (Summary)

The challenges facing leaders in the federal government are complex, significant, and diverse. These challenges have been exacerbated by a changing global landscape, financial economic meltdowns, budget deficits, terrorism, cybersecurity concerns, war, and an aging workforce (Koonce, 2010). Yet, from a leadership development perspective, until recently, very little had changed in the way leaders were prepared to handle those challenges. As part of a call to action, executive coaching is rapidly becoming a staple of senior leadership development.

Given the increased emphasis on executive coaching as a leadership development tool, the purpose of this study was to explore the linkage between executive coach education/training, a learning intervention with theoretical underpinnings in learning theory (experiential learning, transformative learning, reflective learning, and action learning) and participant leadership and executive coaching skills. A descriptive, single exploratory case study design was employed using both quantitative and quantitative techniques. The former included Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), Servant Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ), and International Coach Federation (ICF) Competency Survey. Qualitative techniques included observation, document analysis, and focus group to explore the impact of the Defense Acquisition University Executive Coach training program on participants, specifically the impact on participant leadership and executive coaching skills.

The key findings build on existing research and show that 1) participation in executive coach training created a shift in participant focus from self to other, a critical component of both transformational and servant leadership; 2) a learning environment, combined with emphasis on ICF competencies, improved executive coaching skills; 3) the ICF competency related to ethical orientation and guidelines with respect to professionalism did not demonstrate evidence of change; 4) executive coach training predicated on ICF competencies enhanced active listening and powerful questioning, two critical components of executive coaching and action learning, and 5) coach training enhanced participants’ self-awareness and reflective learning, critical attributes for executive coaches. The study concludes with recommendations for research and practice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marquardt, Michael
Commitee: DeLeon, Bobbie, Raudenbush, Linda
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human & Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education, Public administration
Keywords: Executive coaching, Leadership, Learning, Training
Publication Number: 10929429
ISBN: 978-0-438-30900-5
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