College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 3-20-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Goran Kuljanin, PhD

Second Advisor

Suzanne T. Bell, PhD

Third Advisor

Grace Lemmon, PhD


Volatile, complex, and ambiguous work environments require organizations to focus on continuous employee development and performance improvement across all organizational levels. As a result, organizational development (OD) practices for employee development rapidly increased throughout the past decade. One such vital individualized training intervention – organizational coaching – facilitates continuous behavioral change, development, and performance improvement across employees (Joo et al., 2012). Researchers, like practitioners, though, often examine coaching in isolation, focusing on the coach without considering the impact those being coached (i.e., coachees) have on the success of the coaching process. Coachees’ ability to seek, thoughtfully consider, act, and change behavior based on feedback provided during coaching interactions (i.e., their coachability) remains a critical, yet understudied factor in the coaching equation. A targeted examination of employee coachability, therefore, offers a more in-depth understanding of the coaching dynamic. Thus, I extensively explored antecedents, behaviors, and outcomes of employee coachability. The goals of this research centered on contributing to the organizational coaching and coachability literatures through a thorough examination of employee coachability, which includes the interplay between managerial (i.e., organizational) coaching and employee coachability. While I initially examined employee coachability as a method through which organizations can maximize coaching interactions, the data indicates employee coachability functions independently of coaching behaviors. In other words, regardless of the quality of the coaching relationship, nature of feedback provided (i.e., quality and properly delivered), and environment (i.e., psychologically safe, feedback seeking supportive), coachable employees still seek, demonstrate receptivity to, and implement feedback to drive individual development and performance improvement. So, while coachability behaviors (i.e., feedback seeking, feedback receptivity, and transfer of coaching/feedback) surely remain important for optimizing coaching interactions (i.e., coaching cannot be effective without the coachee’s willingness to receive and implement coaching), the findings suggest the importance and impact of coachability spans these interactions. Specifically, employee coachability drives individual job performance, adaptability, and promotability. Research finds employee adaptability as a vital driver of organizational effectiveness to generate competitive advantages. As such, organizations may consider employee coachability a competency to which they hire or train employees in order to achieve and sustain competitive advantages.

SLP Collection