A trojan horse? the implications of managerial coaching for leadership theory

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This paper examines the behaviours associated with managerial coaching and assesses the implications for leadership theory. Survey data from 521 line-managers are analysed to: identify the behaviours associated with managerial coaching; examine factors that affect the propensity of managers to undertake coaching; and discuss the implications of the manager as coach role for leadership theory and practice. First, the analysis indicates that workplace coaching is distinct from specialised coaching practices. Second, demographic characteristics of individual managers, such as their age, experience or level of management qualification are unlikely to affect their propensity to undertake managerial coaching. However, leader-team member relationships (leader-member exchange) and occupational self-efficacy (OSE) are predictive of managerial coaching behaviours. Third, managerial coaching challenges traditional leader-centric models of leadership and requires an acknowledgement of reciprocity, collaborative ‘meaning-making’ and a diminished ‘distance’ between leaders and team members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-266
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Resource Development International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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