Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



John Conbere; Patricia Hedberg; Joseph Volker


The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experience of leaders who engaged in executive coaching as a leadership development initiative. Through Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), six participants, three women and three men, shared their experience of the client side of executive coaching. Data collected through one-on-one interviews provided rich descriptions of the client’s perceptions during their coaching engagement. Thematic findings include three Super-Ordinate themes: A Hope & Faith in the Coaching Process, The Journey and Memory Book. Sub-themes under Hope & Faith in the Coaching Process: investment in me, know oneself, expect the unexpected, and ascension. Sub-themes under The Journey: attending, facing warts, freckles and scars, Johari Window, and leader as humanitarian. Sub-themes under Memory Book: nostalgia, self-reflection, client-coach fit and still learning. The three Super-Ordinate themes and sub-themes provide significant insight to the lived experience of leaders in coaching. The research provides recommendations to organizations who may hire a coach, to the executive who is new to coaching or a veteran of coaching, and to the executive coach. Future research is suggested for both positivistic and interpretive studies.


executive coaching, interpretive phenomenological analysis, qualitative research, coaching, lived experience, leadership development

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