A pile of rolling journals to underline the scientific aspect of our Executive Coaching work

R|H Executive Coaching Model

Our coaching model is based on the study conducted by Dr Michael Roether – the biggest study researching coachee ( ) satisfaction in the field of Executive Coaching. Past research investigated only certain aspects with smaller samples.

This study, however, has managed to identify major constructs from the areas of trust, positive psychology and Self-Determination Theory to predict the coachee’s satisfaction with the coaching received. The constructs – identified after an extensive literature review of nearly 3,500 papers and books – were: the coach’s ( ) trustworthiness, the coachee’s predisposition to trust, working alliance, Basic Psychological Need (BPN), Goal Self-Concordance, goal effort, goal attainment and the coachee’s satisfaction.

The Coaching Model was able to explain almost two-third of the variance in the coachee’s satisfaction and was highly statistically significant. This remarkably high value suggests that major constructs were identified and that the model is able to almost completely predict the coachee’s satisfaction with the coaching received and their coaches. Furthermore, the model was able to quantify and to describe the interrelationship amongst the constructs, which resulted in the ‘Comprehensive Theoretical Executive Coaching Model’.

For our coaching practice we have translated the theoretical model into the R|H Coaching Process, which is rooted in Humanism- and Person-Centred Theory based on interpretivism as epistemological philosophical background.

Executive Coaching Study

This study was conducted as part of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) at Henely Business School (UK). The thesis has more than 260 pages (Table of Contents) and was written with the intent to investigate and to understand the underlying processes in Executive Coaching and to describe those findings in a theoretical Executive Coaching Model. Furthermore, the interrelationships amongst the research constructs were identified and investigated. The constructs were identified in the English literature and past research and selected according to their prominence and importance.


Donut chart representing the study’s participants: 66% Executive/Senior Manager, 25% Manager, 9% Professional

The responding 162 participants (35.2% females, 64.8% males) were in the age range 30 to 63 with an average age of 45. Of the participants, 91.4% (148) reported that they have held at least a management position in their company, while 66.0% of them have reported that they held a senior management position (including executives and business owners). The remaining 8.6% stated that they held a professional position.

Three icons with information about the study’s participants: 65% male, 35% female, 162 total with an average age of 45 years

Coaching Background Information

The average coaching duration was 10.5 months with an average of 9.2 coaching session. The majority of the participants (57.4%) reported that they did not know the coach prior to their coaching and 80.2% said that their coach was from outside their company. Participants were working on solely business (43.2%), business and private (48.1%) or solely private (8.6%) issues. The majority reported that they initiated the coaching themselves (50.6%) and set their own coaching goals (65.4%). The majority of respondents (61.7%) stated that the company paid for the coaching and almost a third (32.7%) paid for the coaching themselves.

Bar chart of the participant background information for the study: External Coach 80%, initiated by the coachee 51%, the coachee pays for the coaching 33%

Research Approach

The research design for this study was retrospective, descriptive and cross-sectional, employing a point-in-time online survey questionnaire that researched the executive coachee’s experience on their received coaching.


All research constructs’ scale items were factor analysed and the resulting scales and subscales were tested for reliability using Cronbach Alpha coefficients. Furthermore, data were checked using Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin’s Measure of Sampling test, Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity and Principal Component Analysis. In addition, the correlation matrices were inspected, total variance explained calculated, multicollinearity and common method bias tested.

The model was tested using hierarchical multiple regression and ANOVA. The generalisability of the model was tested using the adjusted R2 and Stein’s formula for the adjusted R2. Furthermore, PLS-SEM was used to validate the regression findings and to simultaneously test the relationships between the variables. Moderation (the coachee’s predisposition to trust) was tested using Pearson bivariate correlation, linear regression and ANOVA analysis. Mediation (Basic Psychological Need and goal effort) was tested using correlation analysis and linear regression followed by a Sobel test.

Coaching Definitions


Humanism is a philosophical stance where the individual’s interests and values are of utmost importance. the perception of mankind is positive with the underlying assumption that individuals possess an intrinsic motivation to grow and to self-actualise. Concurrently, each individual has the ability to satisfy their own needs and to fully develop their abilities and potentials. Therefore, each individual is responsible for how far and to what degree this intrinsic motivation and the development of their abilities is lived.

Person-Centred Coaching Approach

The person-centred coaching approach regards the coachee to be complete, resourceful, useful and valuable and coachees are accepted as they are.

This enable coachees to use their resources and strengths to find their own best solutions and to implement them. The coach is non-directive, possesses a helping and facilitating role and will not offer suggestion or solutions. Consequently, coachees themselves are responsible to become active and to work on their desired positive changes.


Epistemology is about how we know what we know. The epistemological basis for interpretivism is that the social reality is subjective, multiple and rests in our minds. This means that our subjective and social reality is interpreted based on our subjective experiences and perceptions with our environment, our culture and with ourselves.

Therefore, there are always multiple subjective realities for the same phenomenon, as they originated from all our interpretations. Consequently, the interpreted social reality must not coincide with the objective reality.