• The Evaluation of Leadership Coaching Through a Lens of Ambidexterity

      Jamieson, Mark (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07-24)
      Leadership coaching has grown to become a significant intervention to respond to the management needs of an increasingly complex organisational environment. The substantial investment in leadership coaching corresponds with current accountability trends, raising the profile of evaluation; however, evidence shows that organisations treat evaluation in this context as being of low strategic value, characterised as limited and problematic, both operationally and strategically. Specifically, whereas evaluation has primarily focused on current organisational imperatives and financial targets, there is also evidence of the increasing emphasis on a new set of leadership behaviours to achieve competitiveness through adaptive capacities characterised by complex decision-making which balances short term outcomes in known circumstances with longer term capacity building in unknown contexts. In response, this study adopts ambidexterity (the adaptive capacity to balance shortterm-known and long-term-unknown demands) as a conceptual lens to examine the evaluation of leadership coaching and used in depth semi-structured interviews with 12 senior practitioners engaged in this area. The study found multiple incongruences between espoused strategic priorities and evaluation practice in-use, and identified apparent moderators that influence evaluation practice in-use. As such, an exploration of moderators contributed fresh insights into barriers and enablers, including six new dimensions for evaluation problematics, and seven promising movements with implications for practice. More generally, this study also asserts that the lens of ambidexterity presents new opportunities for an expansive exploration of evaluation in terms of a wider strategic contribution and, accordingly, suggests the dimensions of an ambidextrous framework, simultaneously pursuing a workable system that is also strategically helpful.