Doctoral Project Abstract
Coaching ROI: Delivering Strategic Value Employing Executive Coaching in Defense Acquisition
This doctoral project investigated executive coaching as a leadership development option in Defense acquisition by examining the Defense Acquisition University’s (DAU) Executive Coaching “Pilot” Program. It also investigated not only the reaction to and learning gained from coaching, but it looked critically at the program to determine if it was delivering strategic value to its coachees and whether that value was being harnessed to drive acquisition outcomes. This study tested the five levels of evaluating coaching: reaction, learning, application, business impact, and return on investment (ROI). Since the executive coaching initiative is the first of its kind at the university, a Level 5 evaluation would provide a deeper understanding of the sources of business value and especially how coaching created monetary value in Defense acquisition. Interview data were collected from nine acquisition program managers (fifty-three percent) who completed the executive coaching pilot program. Seventy-eight percent of the program managers reported having greater than 20 years of management and leadership experience in the Department of Defense. The results indicated the executive coaching program delivered strategic value represented by a conservative ROI of 1,066 percent. Similarly, the coachees and their organizations experienced six business results: increased customer satisfaction, increased resources, increased work group productivity, reduced cycle time, increased organizational efficiency, and increased personal productivity. This study concludes that the DAU Executive Coaching Program delivered strategic value to Defense acquisition managers and drove acquisition outcomes, and therefore, it should be required as a leadership development option.