Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

First Advisor

Marcia Dickerson


Utilizing coaching as an employee development activity has increased significantly in the practitioner space in recent years. Practitioners have implemented coaching in the modern organization, establishing best practices for both coaches and coachees. Coaching is a dyadic relationship whereby the coach and the coachee play a critical role in the successes obtained by the relationship. Previous academic research in a variety of disciplines, including athletics, entrepreneurship, marketing, and management, has studied the coach/coachee relationship extensively from the perspective of the coach. Although the coach’s perspective is important, practitioners and academics agree that individual coachability is a key individual characteristic of a coachee for coaching success. However, there has been little research evaluating the individual coachee. Further, what little research there is, presents inconsistencies in regards to what makes an individual coachable. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to establish a theory of individual coachability by defining individual coachability and empirically evaluating its elements.

Theory development begins with a rigorous literature review. I thoroughly examine current coaching literature, establishing the need for a theory of individual coachability. Through inductive and deductive research, I establish that goal-setting, self-efficacy, feedback, and accountability are important elements of individual coachability. Rooted in the newly developed theory, I define individual coachability for universal use across all areas of research. I achieve this through a series of empirical studies. In Study 1, I develop a measure of coachability, establishing that coachability is a second order construct. I conduct an exploratory factor analysis to confirm the structure. In Study 2, I test the convergent and discriminant validity of the developed scale by comparing it to existing constructs. I conduct a confirmatory factor analysis to establish validity of the constructs in the measurement model. In Study 3, using the established scale from Study 2, I conduct an experiment, using experimental vignette methodology, to observe whether individual coachability influences the relationship between the quality of an organization’s developmental coaching program and various organizational outcomes. More specifically, I hypothesize that the quality of the developmental coaching program and individual coachability will interact to predict job performance, employee engagement, and organizational commitment. I also hypothesize that when a workplace has no developmental coaching program, job performance, employee engagement, and organizational commitment for those high in coachability will be higher than for those who are low in coachability.