The influence of life coaching on entrepreneurs goal planning and attainment

Lawless, Mary (2009) The influence of life coaching on entrepreneurs goal planning and attainment. Masters thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.


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The purpose of this study was is to explore the extent to which life coaching influences an entrepreneur’s behaviour as regards goal planning and attainment. This involves exploring the influence of a coaching intervention on an entrepreneur’s goal and planning behaviour, the issues which influence their goals and the measurement of the attainment of goals. Previous research has indicated that life coaching is about fostering behaviour change in an individual (Grant, 2006). However, there is also much debate that indicates that the claims of coaching relative to behaviour change are largely unfounded and are based on anecdotal evidence. This indicates the need for more research on the effects of life coaching. With these factors in mind the current research focused on exploring the influence of coaching on an individual’s behaviour and in particular on goal attainment behaviour of entrepreneurs. To the best of this researcher’s knowledge such a study has not been previously explored within an Irish context. The co-researchers for the current study were entrepreneurs in the early stage of start up, who were divided into an intervention and non-intervention group. Only those in the intervention group received coaching. A qualitative approach was used in data collection with both groups where a series of semi-structured interviews were utilised. This research method was deemed the most appropriate as it gave greater access to the lived experience and behaviour of entrepreneurs and allowed for meanings to be explored in depth. A number of significant findings materialised from the current study where it was found that life coaching does influence the behaviour of entrepreneurs. This influence was evident in a number of areas amongst the entrepreneurs who received the coaching intervention as opposed to the non-intervention group where no such influence was evident. After the coaching intervention, entrepreneurs in the intervention group had more specific and manageable goals and were more structured and formal in their goal and planning behaviour. In addition, as a result of the coaching intervention, these entrepreneurs in the intervention group showed that they had extended and refined their measurement of goal attainment. The current research adds to the body of research on life coaching in general. It also contributes specifically to the emerging area of life coaching and entrepreneurs. The outcome from this research has implications for life coaches, entrepreneurs, enterprise support agencies as well as those who provide training and incubation programmes for entrepreneurs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Life coaching, Goal planning
Departments or Groups: Centre for Enterprise Development & Regional Economy
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2009 16:22
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 10:26

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