Toward a profession of coaching: Sixty-five years of progress and challenges for the future.

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Toward a profession of coaching: Sixty-five years of progress and challenges for the future.
Coaching and Mentoring Journal

The coaching industry has reached a key important point in its maturation.  This maturation is being driven by at least three interrelated forces: (1) accumulated coaching experience; (2) the increasing entry of professionals into coaching from a wide variety of prior backgrounds; and (3) the increasing sophistication of management and Human Resource professionals. There is increasing awareness among coaches of the need to ground their practice in a solid theoretical understanding and empirically tested models rather than the standardised implementation of ?one size fits all? proprietary coaching systems. Further there is a growing disenchantment with perceived pseudo-credentialing mills. In response to these forces we are beginning to witness increased interest in coaching-related research and the theoretically grounded approaches central to evidence-based coaching practice. This paper provides an overview of the existing academic literature on coaching and explores five key trends in coaching-related research; (a) discussion articles on internal coaching by managers; (b) academic research on internal coaching; (c) research on external coaching by a professional coaches; (d) coaching as a means of investigating psychological mechanisms and processes involved in human and organisational change and (e) the emergence of a theoretical literature aimed at the professional coach.  It is argued that an explicit movement towards the scientist-practitioner model of coach training and practice is vital for the development of the coaching industry and that such a move is vital in a movement from a service industry towards a respected cross-disciplinary profession with a solid research base.


International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring Vol. 2 No. 1 February 2004

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