Measuring coaching: Behavioral and skill-based managerial coaching scales

Marcia S. Hagen, Shari L Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is two-fold: to identify the reliability and content validity of two popular managerial coaching scales – the Ellinger Behavioral Scale and the Park Skills-based Scale – to determine the extent to which the construct, coaching, is more accurately measured as a behavioral construct or a skill-based construct from the perspective of the coach, and from that of his or her direct reports using a single data set. Design/methodology/approach: This research utilized survey research which tested the reliability and validity of two existing coaching scales. Analyses included correlation matrices, principle axis factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. Findings: Results of this research indicate that neither scale is perfectly reliable and valid. However, given the results of the analysis, the authors recommend the Park scale for leaders and the Ellinger scale for team members. Research limitations/implications: This research indicates that investment in valid scales for use by direct reports to measure the coaching expertise of their managers is warranted. Practical implications: There are several implications that are evident as a result of this research. First, there are implications for the training and development of employees. Too, many organizations look to coaching and coaching skills as a benchmark for selecting future leaders – the understanding of how current scales are able to identify coaching expertise is important to the manager selection process. Originality/value: This research offers one of the first comparative analyses of currently available coaching scales. It contributes to the literature on coaching by providing a clear and thorough review and analysis of scales currently available for testing managerial coaching expertise. Practitioners and scholars can benefit from this research by developing a better understanding of the contexts in which these two coaching scales are most reliable and valid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-133
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2 2015


  • Coaching
  • Empirical study
  • Leadership


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