1. Evaluate the literature review conducted for this research article.
The meaning of leadership coaching is the training or coaching of the leaders, managers, executives. It is mutual relationship that is characterised by discussion on work-related problems and improvising the effectiveness of the leadership (Ely et al., 2010). The paper talks about role of the leadership in influencing the subordinates and leading them. According to Baron & Morin, there two terms “leadership coaching” and “executive coaching” that are analogous and can be brought into use interchangeably. However, the notions of other researchers are contradicting the above statement. Boyce, Jackson, and Neal (2010), argues that leadership coaching covers variety of aspects, such as mental health, stress, resilience, depression, and workplace well-being. Basically, they considered the relational aspect of leadership and elaborated it as dialogical exercises of the leaders.
In the later part, the leadership coaching was analysed from the practitioners’ point of view. Feldman and Lankau (2005) mentioned that the effectiveness of coaching should be measured by return on investment (ROI). Olivero, Bane, and Kopelman (1997) mentioned that 31 managers received two months coaching which leads to increase in the productivity by 22.4%. The findings need to be taken into account with cautions as risks in such figures are high due to bias sample.
The coach-client relationship plays an important role that mediates between the number of sessions taken up by the coach and the creating the leader’s self-efficacy. Such research work helps in getting the overview of the key elements that might improves the effectiveness of the leadership coaching. There are very few research studies have been developed that study the summation and evaluation of the effective leadership coaching till date. Summative evaluation talks about the effects of the coaching, whereas the formative evaluation studies the reason behind the cause of such effects.
It was told that the coaching can be customized as per the requirement of the leader. The coaching comprises many key element, such as feedback, support, challenge, etc. Coaching cast a positive impact on the individual. It helps in improving both pre-training and post-training self-efficacy. Coaching is composed of several sessions, especially when it is for leadership development purposes.
2. This article uses mixed methods. Describe the characteristics of this research design and evaluate its appropriateness. Was this design sufficient to address the research objective, or would you suggest anotherdesign?
The key objective of this study is to measure the contribution of leadership development tools in order to develop the theory of leadership coaching. For that purpose, mixed approach has been used that employed both summative and formative methods for evaluation. Using the mixed design, the research is carried out, whereby quantitative and qualitative data has been gathered and analysed. Out of the three different varieties of mixed research method, the sequential design has been used that build one data set over the result of other. The benefits of using this model are many. By clubbing the data of the two aforementioned approaches, one could get a complete picture of impacts of applying the theory of leadership coaching as a development tool in the domain of leadership. Any of those tools individually cannot provide such information with that much accuracy.
Another reason of opting this two-phase design is that it gives the comprehensive details of leadership as development tool. The model helps in assessing the outcomes of the leadership coaching and analyse whether there is any positive effect of coaching on individuals. It helps in studying the effects of facilitative coach behaviour on the impacts of leadership coaching. The decision of using the mixed stage at different stages of the research is based on the level of interaction among the quantitative and qualitative study. The quantitative data gives generalised trends of a process, whereas the qualitative data reflects the individual’s experience. Both are complementary to each other as what information is missing in one method can be provided by the other. Hence, combining the two would increase the relevancy and validity of the data set.
Another reason for carrying out the research with mixed method is that it gives a 360 degree overview of the leadership coaching. It evaluates the problem in two phase: firstly, “before coaching phase” and secondly, the “after coaching phase”. Once the assessment of the two phase is over, the results are compared using the quantitative manner.
Other methods follow the qualitative approach in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the leadership coaching program. One of them is the interview method in which the participants are interviewed in order to investigate and understand the influence of the coaching process on individuals. Apart from that, surveys are also used but the method gives the quantitative results only. None of the two methods talks about the two aspects. First, the practical factors to be used in determining the effectiveness of the coaching program. Second, the theoretical benefits of using either of the two research methods. Since measuring the success of coaching programs is difficult by using those methods, the mixed method is most appropriate here.
3. Are the methods used to collect data (e.g. focus group and questionnaires) sufficiently justified and described? What further information (if any) do yourequire?
Yes, the methods have been used appropriately in context of determining the effectiveness of leadership coaching. One method covers the qualitative aspects of the problems, whereas other talks about the quantitative data. Since the research is based on the mixed method approach, the data collection can be done via any of the method, such as questionnaire survey, focus groups, and qualitative interviews. It is given that the research comprises the focus groups and quasi-experimental field study based on the multisource data.
In order to make sure that final outcomes of the application of the leadership theory should be based on both theory and practical, the data of focus group analysis have been compared to that of extant theory. This comparison leads to the development of two factors: 1) Leaders’ trust in subordinates (LTS) 2.) Leader role efficacy (LRE). Studying the data from the focus groups reflects the leader’s trust in subordinates (LTS) and provide the leader role efficacy (LRE).
The idea behind using thefocus group is to gather the information regarding the opinions, ideas and understanding of the candidates taking the leadership coaching that might be not easy to get from other methods like personal interviews. The analysis of focus group indicates that the LRE is the apt instrument to measure the leadership performance and provide ratings. It plays a critical role in the development of the leader. Moreover, LTS is another tool that affects the leadership performance and the bonding between the leaders and subordinates. Outcomes from the analysis of focus group suggest that LTS and LRE should be taken into account while evaluating the effectiveness of the coaching.
The purpose of the quasi-experimental field study is to give the overall comprehensive evaluation and test the effectiveness of the LRE and LTS outcome criteria. The results reflect that the levels of LRE are boosted up by the presence of a leader. In addition to this, leaders who take part in coaching process have higher LTS. The results of quasi-experimental field study lacks the control over the random assignment of target population. The conditions were controlled in order to get the positive results, but randomisation does not guarantee the demonstration of the causal relationship between the treatment conditions and the final outcomes of the research.
After understanding the two methods thoroughly, the study misses the third aspects of mastering the leadership role i.e., “changing role expectations”. It helps in development of the abilities to affect the environment and make them habitual of it. Role of a leader changes with the situations and different theories of leadership can give different results. Therefore, this has to be taken into consideration and the relevant data collection method should be used in the course of the research.
4. Critique the sampling strategy and respondent selection used in thisstudy.
The mixed method or two-phase sequential method have been used in this research article. This method is a mix of the quantitative and qualitative research. Therefore, the sampling technique and sample size taken should follow the guidelines of the two methods. To attend to the given research problem, the researchers decides the respondents and the organisations that can give the relevant data. The procedure was designed by the researchers only, so there might be some mismatch in the outcomes of the study. For the focus group method, purposeful sampling was done where the experienced participants are chosen by the researcher. To get good results for qualitative study, this method is apt as it can furnish with in-depth and well-researched data. For the study purpose, small coaching firms were taken into account and seven professional leadership coaches have given their voluntarily participation. These coaches have years of experience in this field. The reason behind limiting the number of leadership coaching is that larger the sample size, lesser the details that can be emerged out from the individuals. For a classy qualitative research, the sample size should contain 4 to 10 individuals, and in this case study the 7 was the number. Hence, data collected can be trusted upon.
The quasi-environmental field study is a type of quantitative study and for that purpose the effects of certain possible events in the selected firm was controlled in order to prevent any chances of biasedness in the results. Twenty seven leaders voluntarily provide their cooperation and overall 34 leaders were taken into consideration. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to the leaders. In quantitative research, the sampling individuals comprises the representatives of a community or society so that the results of the research can be generalised. That’s why the leaders of different organisations were invited or chosen. The selection of the organisations were random that comes under probabilistic sampling. In this study, the investigators wanted to control the environment, therefore they stratifies the sample and then randomly chose their organisation. The sample size should be large enough so that the investigators can draw the inferences properly. In this case, the sample size was 34 in total. There are certain sampling formulae that could have been used to calculate the sample size, but nowhere is it mentioned that the investigators used any particular formula. That puts the sample size on a weaker platform.
The methods that are often used in mixed approaches are aptitude test, questionnaire, judging individual attitude, etc. In this case, the questionnaire method was implemented to collect the information from the leaders. Apart from this, factual information were taken from the progress summaries.
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