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Call for Papers: Applied Psychology: An International Review


Call for Papers: Applied Psychology: An International Review

Special Issue

Advances in the Psychology of Workplace Coaching

Guest Editors
Rebecca J. Jones, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK
Gil Bozer, Managing Human Resources Department, Sapir Academic College, Israel

Background and Rationale for the Special Issue

There has been significant growth in the academic literature related to workplace coaching, including executive, leadership and business coaching over the past three decades (Jones, Woods & Guillaume, 2016). Workplace coaching can be described as a one-to-one custom-tailored, learning and development intervention that uses a collaborative, reflective, goal-focused relationship provided to all levels of employees by external or internal coaching practitioners who do not have formal supervisory authority over the coachee (Bozer & Jones, 2018). However, it can also be described as a component of effective leadership (Campbell & Wiernik, 2015) consisting of a set of goal-oriented, motivation-enhancing management practices that help employees to improve their performance and adapt to changing demands and situations (Bond & Seneque, 2013; Heslin, VandeWalle & Latham, 2006; Hui & Sue-Chan, 2018). Recent meta-analyses have established that coaching is an effective development tool (e.g., Jones et al., 2016) and as such research has shifted from considering the effect of coaching into exploring the mechanisms, processes and factors that determine effectiveness and explain how the desired change following coaching occurs. Two necessary requirements of research with this focus is that it is based on a theoretically solid foundation and is conducted utilising rigorously robust research methods.

Until recently, the workplace coaching literature has been dominated by practitioner led research, predominately published in niche coaching journals and 'grey literature' (see Bozer & Jones (2018) for a comprehensive review) and as such, coaching is viewed by some
as a practice field. However, recent publications in high-ranking scientific journals, indicate that a shift is occurring in the literature on workplace coaching, with a move towards scientific led rather than practitioner led scholarship (e.g., Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018;
Blackman, Moscardo, & Gray, 2016; Bozer & Jones, 2018; Hui & Sue-Chan, 2018; Jones et al., 2016). Moreover, this shift fits with a broader trend in applied psychology towards more rigorous evaluation studies of workplace interventions (e.g., O’Shea, O’Connell & Gallagher, 2016). This makes a special issue on the advances in the psychology of coaching timely, with the potential to make a significant contribution to shaping the direction of coaching research into one which is viewed as a scientifically rigorous field of enquiry. We believe that applied psychological theory can offer important insights in understanding the mechanisms, factors and processes which can explain how and why coaching works in order to ensure that the impact of this popular learning and development intervention is maximised and sustained.

Objectives and Scope of the Special Issue

Our key objective for this special issue is to provide a collection of influential papers that will inform coaching theory, provide robust empirical evidence and guide future, scientifically rigorous research into workplace coaching. As such, successful manuscripts will
share the following features: (a) they extend and develop a theory of workplace coaching; (b) they demonstrate high levels of methodological rigour with detailed reporting of the research design and methodology utilized; (c) they present clear recommendations for future scientific research into workplace coaching based on their theory development; and (d) they provide specific implications for practice. This special issue will explore the impact of coaching in the workplace and therefore participants should be employed adults (rather than for example student samples). Furthermore, the special issue is open to studies investigating leadership or supervisory coaching and coaching provided by either an independent internal or external coach. In line with the mission of AP:IR, we also encourage submissions with an international focus or studies that concern the role of environmental or cultural influences on coaching effectiveness.
In this special issue, we aim to establish a stronger connection between research in applied psychology and workplace coaching by presenting a series of theoretically robust, empirically novel, research studies examining the antecedents, outcomes and processes associated with workplace coaching effectiveness. Therefore, the types of research design best suited for the special issue are pre-test-post-test treatment design with control group, meta-analysis, systematic literature review and conceptual papers. However qualitative
papers and papers utilising emerging methodologies such as diary studies and multi-level studies will also be considered.

Potential topics may include, however are not restricted to, the following research questions:
Coachee characteristics
? What is the unique contribution of coachee self-efficacy, coaching motivation and goal orientation to coaching effectiveness?
? What is the relative influence of global self-efficacy beliefs compared to domain-specific self-efficacy and task-specific self-efficacy on coaching effectiveness?
? What characteristics are more likely to lead to the coachee developing strong perception of trust in their coach?
? Can coaching be implemented to enhance and sustain coachee PsyCap?
? What are the psychological processes involved in promoting coachee intentional change?

Coaching relationship / intervention 
? What is the relative importance of actual and perceived coach-coachee similarity/differences on coaching outcomes throughout different stages of the coaching intervention?

? Is there a curvilinear relationship between coach-coachee similarity and coaching outcomes?

? What is the relative importance of coach-coachee personality matching on coaching effectiveness?
? What is the impact of leader-member exchange on coaching effectiveness and does leader-member exchange quality improve over the duration of the coaching intervention?
? At which stage is incorporating feedback into coaching most impactful?
? How do new methods of delivery (e.g., online) change the coaching relationship and effectiveness of coaching?

External influences
? What types of supervisory support behaviours are important to encourage learning and performance outcomes from coaching (i.e. frequency, timing)?
? How does learning organization culture influence coaching process and predict coaching outcomes?
? What are the possible side effects of workplace coaching for its constituents (i.e. coach, coachee, organisation client)?
? How do environmental / cultural factors interact with coaching practices (e.g, solution- vs. Problem-focused), coachee personal characteristics and coaching outcomes?
? How do culturally sensitive coaching practices interact with societal culture, company culture or cross- culture context? 

Interaction of theoretical constructs
? What is the nature of the interaction between trust in the coaching relationship, coaching motivation and interpersonal attraction?
? How do coaching delivery methods (face-to-face, virtual coaching, mix) interact with the coaching process and predict coaching outcomes?
? How do coaching modality (internal, external, mix) interact with the coaching process and predict coaching outcomes?
? How do coachee personality factors interact with the coaching process and predict coaching outcomes?

We are also interested in theoretically and empirically robust papers that expand coaching to new work contexts and populations (e.g., entrepreneurs; Ciuchta et al., 2017).

Submission Instructions

The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 31 January 2019. All manuscripts have to be submitted through AP:IR manuscript central (, and should select ‘special issue’ as manuscript type.
All submitted manuscripts are subject to the regular double-blind review process. Please direct any questions regarding the Special Issue to Dr Rebecca Jones ( and Dr Gil Bozer (


Athanasopoulou, A., & Dopson, S. (2018). A systematic review of executive coaching outcomes: Is it the journey or the destination that matters the most? The Leadership Quarterly, 29(1), 70-88. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2017.11.004
Blackman, A., Moscardo, G., & Gray, D. E. (2016). Challenges for the theory and practice of business coaching: A systematic review of empirical evidence. Human Resource Development Review, 15(4), 459-486. doi:10.1177/1534484316673177
Bond, C., & Seneque, M. (2013). Conceptualizing coaching as an approach to management and organizational development. Journal of Management Development, 32, 57–72.
Bozer, G., & Jones, R. J. (2018). Understanding the factors that determine workplace coaching effectiveness: A systematic literature review. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(3), 342-361. doi: 10.1080/1359432X.2018.1446946
Campbell, J. P., & Wiernik, B. M. (2015). The modeling and assessment of work performance. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2, 47–74.
Ciuchta, M. P., Letwin, C., Stevenson, R., McMahon, S., & Huvaj, M. N. (2017). Betting on the Coachable Entrepreneur: Signaling and Social Exchange in Entrepreneurial Pitches. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 1042258717725520.
Heslin, P. A., VandeWalle, D., & Latham, G. P. (2006). Keen to help? Managers' implicit person theories and their subsequent employee coaching. Personnel Psychology, 59(4), 871–902.
Hui, R. T. Y., & Sue?Chan, C. (2018). Variations in coaching style and their impact on subordinates' work outcomes. Journal of Organizational Behavior.1-17. doi:10.1002/job.2263
Jones, R. J., Woods, S. A., & Guillaume, Y. R. F. (2016). The effectiveness of workplace coaching: A meta-analysis of learning and performance outcomes from coaching. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 89(2). doi: 10.1111/joop.12119
O'Shea, D., O' Connell, B. H. and Gallagher, S. (2016). Randomised controlled trials in WOHP interventions: A review and guidelines for use. Applied Psychology, 65(2), 190-222. doi:10.1111/apps.12053