Publication Details

McCarthy, G. & Milner, J. (2019). Ability, motivation and opportunity: managerial coaching in practice. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Online First 1-22.


The practice of managerial coaching is increasing globally, although there is still comparatively little research into it. Using an online survey, we examined the practice of managerial coaching in Australian organisations through Appelbaum et al.'s Ability Motivation Opportunity framework. A thematic analysis of 580 responses revealed that managers regularly coached their own employees and were motivated by the outcomes they achieved through coaching. Emerging strongly from this research was the delight managers took in seeing their employees transform, as well as improved relationships and the (re‐)building of trust. Furthermore, coaching resulted in employees becoming more innovative and ready for change. However, managers did not always have the opportunity to undertake coaching due to time constraints or their dual role as a coaching manager. We shed further light on the motivation of managers and we offer recommendations for HR departments seeking to foster managerial coaching in their organisations. The key takeaway is that managerial coaching is a powerful approach to leadership.

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