“..executive coaching is defined as a helping relationship formed between a client who has managerial authority and responsibility in an organisation and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioural techniques and methods to help the client achieve a mutually identified set of goals to improve his or her professional performance and personal satisfaction and, consequently, to improve the effectiveness of the client’s organisation within a formally defined coaching agreement.”
(Kilburg, 1996, p. 8 )
In contrast to the mostly anecdotal nature of the literature on executive coaching, there is a substantial body of empirical research on the effectiveness of group approaches to leadership and management development.
Collins & Holton (2004) conducted a meta-analysis of 83 studies of managerial and leadership development programs from 1982 to 2001. Their results showed that managerial and leadership development programs were effective in increasing knowledge, expertise and system outcomes. This confirmed the overall finding of training effectiveness reported in an earlier meta-analysis (Burke & Day, 1986).