Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 2013, 1, 76-84
Published Online December 2013 (
Open Access JHRSS
Predicting Managerial Coaching Behaviors by the Big-Five
Personality Traits
Guohai Chen, Wen Huang, Yuwen Tang
School of Management, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
Received October 9, 2013; revised November 12, 2013; accepted November 20, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Guohai Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In accor-
dance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2013 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual
property Guohai Chen et al. All Copyright © 2013 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian.
The research of this paper aims to construct a Chinese Managerial Coaching Behavior Inventory and examine the cor-
relations of managerial coaching behaviors and the Big-Five personality traits. In Study One, 196 managers from sev-
eral companies filled out a self-complied Managerial Coaching Behavior Inventory based on Noer’s Triangle Coaching
Model and Social Desirability Scale. A Chinese Managerial Coaching Behavior Inventory with 46 items was developed,
including three subscales (namely, Accessing, Challenging, and Supporting) with high Cronbach alphas (all > 0.85). In
Study Two, this inventory and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory were administered to 175 managers. Analysis showed
that scores on the three managerial coaching behaviors Accessing, Challenging, and Supporting were positively related
to those on Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, while they were negatively
related to Neuroticism. Big-Five personality traits (particularly Extraversion, Openness to Experience, and Conscien-
tiousness) were good predictors of managerial coaching behaviors. Implications for human resource management and
enterprise coaching are discussed.
Keywords: Managerial Coaching Behavior; Inventory; Development
1. Introduction
In recent years, coaching has become an essential part of
managing and leading people [1] and the idea that man-
agers should be coaches has been consistently advocated
by researchers and practitioners [2-5]. So far, researchers
have been mainly interested in discussing and exploring
the definitions, functions or efficacy, dimensions, meas-
urements, and improvements of coaching and its correla-
tion with other variables. McLean et al. [6] defined
managerial coaching behaviors as a managerial practice
which shows effective coaches’ characteristics including
open communication, team work, evaluating employees
through work and tolerance of uncertainty. A number of
empirical studies have shown the effectiveness of coach-
ing in organizations [5,7-10]. For example, Ellinger et al.
[7-8] have empirically demonstrated the positive impact
of coaching behaviors on employee job satisfaction and
productivity. Sulivan [9] found that executive coaching is
an effective tool in the enhancement of emotional intel-
ligence competencies in executives. Chen and Zhang [5]
also found that executive coaching has a positive influ-
ence on job satisfaction and a negative influence on
turnover intention. Kim’s [10] investigations suggested
that managerial coaching has a direct impact on em-
ployee satisfaction with work and role clarity and an in-
direct impact on satisfaction with work, career commit-
ment, job performance, and organization commitment.
Since managerial coaching has become increasingly
popular in organizations [10] and effective coaching
needs appropriate coaching skills, the phrases “coaching
behavior”, “managerial coaching behavior”, “coaching
ability”, “coaching competence”, and “coaching skill” have
appeared in the literature, but no agreement has been re-
ached on definitions.
There are a variety of coaching skills/behaviors identi-
fied and categorized by researchers [1,7,10-11] As El-
linger, Hamlin, and Beattie [1] stated, the requisite
coaching skills described in the conceptual literature
usually include listening skills, analytical skills, inter-
viewing skills, effective questioning techniques, and ob-
servation, while typical coaching behaviors usually con-
G. H. CHEN ET AL. 77
sist of giving and receiving performance feedback, com-
municating and setting clear expectations, and creating a
supportive environment conducive to coaching. Although
there are different concrete managerial coaching behav-
iors, Hamlin, Ellinger, and Beattie [1] concluded that
they share a common essence. They found that most
common coaching behaviors include those associated
with “empowering” (including removing obstacles to
learning, framing questions to facilitate development,
holding back on the answer), and “facilitating” (includ-
ing providing feedback, communicating expectations,
and talking issues through). Lam [11] classified manage-
rial coaching behaviors into four categories: provide
feedback or gain feedback from subordinates; offer sub-
ordinates resources and information; encourage, support
and recognize subordinates’ learning and development;
offer personalized coaching intervention to subordinates.
Kim [10] categorized the multitude of coaching behav-
iors in the literature into six clusters of meaning as fol-
lows: a) questioning; b) listening; c) advising; d) em-
powering and goal setting; e)advocating; and f) follow-
Measures of coaching behaviors/skills have been emerg-
ing in recent years, such as the Mentor Scale [12], Goal-
focused Coaching Skills Questionnaire [13], Coaching
Behaviors Instrument [6], and Coaching Behaviors In-
ventory [14,15]. There are compelling needs to validate
conceptual and empirical measures or inventories of
coaching behaviors/skills for future research and coach-
ing practice.
Particularly, Noer [14,15] put forward the Triangle
Coaching Model which conceptualizes the process of
coaching as a client-centered, helping relationship with
three essential dimensions: accessing, challenging, and
supporting. Correspondingly, the Coaching Behaviors
Inventory with 30 self-assessment items was developed
to measure the three dimensions of coaching behaviors.
Accessing refers to the use of analytical processes that
lead to measurements and goal-setting, including five
components: data gathering, gap analysis, goal setting,
measurement, and feedback. Challenging refers to stimu-
lating the person being coached to develop concrete
plans to meet desired objectives, including four compo-
nents: confronting, focusing/shaping, reframing, and em-
powering/energizing. Supporting refers to creating an in-
terpersonal context that facilitates trust, openness, res-
pect and understanding, including five components: at-
tending, inquiring, reflecting, affirming, and airtime. Us-
ing the inventory and comparing managerial coaching
behaviors of Saudi Arabian with US managers, Noer [15]
found Saudi managers exhibited less overall variance as
a group in their coaching behaviors, and they exhibited
significantly more supporting and challenging behaviors
than their American counterparts. In terms of accessing
behaviors, no differences were observed between the two
samples. Noer [15] reported that Cronbach’s alpha reli-
ability coefficients for Assessing, Challenging, and Sup-
porting were 0.81, 0.79, and 0.67, respectively.
A number of researchers and practitioners have con-
tended that coaching behaviors or skills are teachable and
can be improved by learning [16]. Marsh [16] found that
coaching skills among managers are a prerequisite for
coaching results and such skills are teachable. Wangs-
gard revealed that the frequency and efficacy of coaching
behaviors can be improved and increased in a relatively
short period of time with a high performance coaching
Concerning the role of personality in coaching, per-
sonality measures are considered useful tools for coach-
ing [17-20]. As Carr et al. [19] stated, personality instru-
ments can be used in coaching on two levels: 1) for
coaches to understand themselves better and to enhance
their own effectiveness, and 2) to help coaches make
sense of their patterns of behavior and meet their coach-
ing objectives. An assessment of personality can be an
excellent place to start coaching [20]. By detecting dys-
functional personality characteristics with personality
measures, coaching does not endeavor to “change” per-
sonality but rather utilizes an understanding of a coa-
chee’s personality traits to facilitate behavioral change in
certain contexts [21,22]. Although quite a number of
empirical studies have revealed that personality traits are
good predictors of work-related behaviors [23-25], rela-
tively few empirical studies such as Stewart et al.’s [26]
study have been found on the relationship between per-
sonality and coaching behaviors/skills.
Regarding personality measures, the Big Five Factor
Model has been widely accepted and utilized to assess
personality traits among normal people in the past sev-
eral decades [23,27]. The five primary personality factors
are usually described as a) Neuroticism, b) Extraversion,
c) Openness to experience, d) Agreeableness, and f)
Conscientiousness [27]. Little is known about the rela-
tionship between the Big-Five personality traits and
coaching behaviors/skills. One aim of the present re-
search is to explore the correlations of the Big-Five per-
sonality traits with coaching behaviors/skills.
Coaching has been gradually introduced into business
sectors in China in recent years. However, empirical re-
search and theory construction in this field are far behind
coaching practice in China. Few empirical studies on
coaching are found in current Chinese literature [5,28].
While improving coaching skills/behaviors with courses
is becoming a common practice of coaching in China,
coaching efficacy usually remains unknown with no em-
pirical measurements with appropriate assessment tools.
Therefore, it is imperative to develop a Chinese Manage-
rial Coaching Behavior Inventory for such a purpose,
Open Access JHRSS
which is the main aim of this research.
Conceptual Framework and Hypotheses
In order to construct and develop a Chinese Managerial
Coaching Behaviors Inventory, we borrowed the Coach-
ing Triangle Model (see Figure 1) posited by Noer
[14,15,29] as the conceptual framework of this research.
There are three equally important dimensions (namely
Supporting, Assessing, and Challenging) to the client-
centered coaching relationship. Each of the three dimen-
sions is made up of four or five behavioral components.
Overuse of one dimension at the expense of the other two
results in unintended and has unhealthy consequences
There are three reasons for us to select Noer’s Coach-
ing Triangle Model as the theoretical framework (see
Figure 1). Firstly, as Noer [14] stated that Supporting,
Assessing, and Challenging are the core dimensions of
coaching, this model covers most of the basic coaching
skills and coaching behaviors mentioned in the literature
[6]. Secondly, the idea of balanced use of each dimension
of coaching behaviors in this model is quite consistent
with the Confucius doctrine of the mean [30]. Such a
model seems to be more recognizable and acceptable in
the Chinese context from a cross-culture perspective.
Finally, as Noer [15] demonstrated, his Managerial Coa-
ching Behaviors Inventory based on this model can be
utilized to measure the coaching behaviors of Saudi ma-
nagers at the beginning of their coaching skills work-
shop, assuming that managers consciously or uncon-
sciously exhibit coaching behaviors in their daily interac-
tions with subordinates, even if they may not know what
coaching is. Since few companies implement a coaching
culture currently in the Chinese context and most man-
agers lack the knowledge and skills of coaching, a Chi-
nese Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory based on
this model may be used widely to assess managers’
coaching behaviors for coaching skills workshop or one-
to-one coaching practice.
Figure 1. The coaching triangle (sources: Noer, 2005A,
2005B, 2007).
After reviewing previous literature on coaching be-
havior/skill [13,15-16], we contend that managerial
coaching behaviors overlap with effective leader/mana-
gerial behaviors to some extent, since managerial coach-
ing behaviors are observable, measurable, teachable, ac-
tionable, and effective leader/managerial behaviors.
Managerial coaching behaviors are good predictors of
high job performance [2,3,8,10]. Based on previous find-
ings that the Big-Five personality traits are good pre-
dictors of work-related and other behaviors [31-36], we
contended that the Big-Five personality traits are impor-
tant predictors of managerial coaching behaviors. Previ-
ous findings have also revealed that the Big-Five person-
ality traits are good predictors of job performance [37,38].
Thus, we can depict the interactive relationship among
the Big-Five personality traits, coaching behaviors, and
job performance as in Figure 2. In this paper, we will
examine the relations between the Big-Five personality
traits and coaching behaviors.
We made four hypotheses based on Figure 2 and pre-
vious findings. Since higher scores on Agreeableness in
the Big-Five taxonomies show altruism, sympathy, help-
fulness, and cooperativeness [27], we hypothesize that
Agreeableness is positively related to Supporting behave-
iors of coaching (H1). Since higher scores on Openness
to Experience reflect an active imagination, aesthetic
sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for
variety, and intellectual curiosity, we hypothesize that
Openness to Experience is positively related to Chal-
lenging behaviors of coaching (H2). Since Conscien-
tiousness is generally and positively related to good be-
haviors and high job performance factors such as honesty
but negatively related to bad behaviors such as alcohol
consumption, accident involvement, and counterproduc-
tive work behaviors [33,35,36,38], we assume that Con-
scientiousness is positively related to all the three dimen-
sions of coaching behaviors (namely Supporting, As-
sessing, and Challenging) (H3). Since Neuroticism is
usually negatively related to high job performance
Figure 2. Relationship among Big-Five personality traits,
coaching behaviors, and job perfor mance.
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G. H. CHEN ET AL. 79
[37,38], we assume that Neuroticism is negatively related
to all the three dimensions of coaching behaviors (na-
mely Supporting, Assessing, and Challenging) (H4).
2. Study One: Development of the Chinese
Managerial Coaching Behavior Inventory
2.1. Preliminary Considerations
There are four specific considerations in developing the
Chinese Managerial Coaching Behavior Inventory. Fir-
stly, as mentioned before, we assume that managers natu-
rally exhibit more or less of the different coaching be-
haviors in their daily work, which allow us to collect data
in a variety of company settings. All the participants in
the present research knew little about coaching nor had
received a coaching workshop.
Secondly, although we adopted Noer’s Coaching Tri-
angle Model as the theoretical framework (see Figure 1),
we did not directly translate the Managerial Coaching
Behavior Inventory [29] and validate it in the Chinese
context for the following reason: the third author (Mr.
Tang) contacted the original author Dr. David M. Noer
by e-mail and no reply came back to us. As such, we did
not get the full copy of Noer’s [29] inventory until we
began to revise this paper. The first author (Dr. Chen)
contacted Dr. Noer again during revision of this paper
and Dr. Noer agreed to send us a copy of the inventory
for reference.
Thirdly, managerial coaching behaviors are said to be
“good” or “effective” behaviors that managers wish to
possess. When managers know something about coach-
ing, specifically after managers attend a coaching work-
shop course, they are likely to fake “good” in filling an
inventory on managerial coaching behaviors. So a social
desirability scale was utilized to improve the process of
item selection when developing the Chinese Managerial
Coaching Behavior Inventory.
Finally, it has been noticed that scholars may utilize
factor analysis techniques to test the construct validity of
a coaching behaviors inventory [6,11]. However, Dr.
Noer did not use factor analysis techniques in developing
his inventory [14,29]. We agreed on this point since the
three managerial coaching dimensions (Accessing, Chal-
lenging, and Supporting) in Noer’s Coaching Behaviors
Triangle Model reflect an intrinsically highly relevant,
overlapped, and inter-correlated managerial process. More-
over, factor analysis techniques also have limitations in
identifying factor structure in some settings such as sam-
pling issues [39].
2.2. Item Generation
In developing the Chinese Managerial Coaching Behav-
ior Inventory, we employed the construct-based scale
construction approach recommended by Jackson [40].
The authors discussed Noer’s Coaching Triangle Model
and fully understood the exact definitions and meanings
of behavioral components for each of the three dimen-
sions (Accessing, Challenging, and Supporting) [15].
Based on previous literature on managerial coaching be-
haviors [6,11,14-15], an initial 70 items were generated
for the inventory through brainstorming. After further
discussion and comparison, 62 items remained by delet-
ing 8 overlapping and ambiguous items. Five managers
who are part-time MBA students at Guangdong Univer-
sity of Foreign Studies were invited to read a brochure on
Noer’s Coaching Triangle Model and definitions of be-
havioral components for each of the three dimensions.
Afterwards, they were invited to give comments on the
62 items. They suggested keeping all the 62 items al-
though 4 of the items needed rewording. As a result, the
inventory consisted of 62 items for the three dimensions.
The Assessing dimension contained 20 items (5 items for
each of the 4 behavioral components: data gathering, gap
analysis, goal setting and measurement/feedback), The
Challenging dimension contained 22 items (6, 5, 5, 4
items respectively for the following behavioral compo-
nents: confronting, focusing/shaping, reframing, empow-
ering/energizing), and the Supporting dimension con-
tained 22 items (5, 4, 5, 5, 3 items respectively for the
following behavioral components: attending, inquiring,
reflecting, affirming and airtime).
2.3. Item Refinements
In order to further refine the items of this inventory, the
self-compiled inventory with 62 items and a social de-
sirability scale were administered to 196 managers (125
men, 70 women, and 1 unknown; Mage = 33.7 years, SD
= 8.0) from 5 firms in Guangzhou, P. R. China. The five
companies were: 3 state-owned listed companies (1 in
the airport sector, 2 in real estate), 1 state-owned com-
pany (in logistics), and 1 private enterprise (in foreign
trade). They were selected by convenience since the first
author had strong contacts with these companies. The
Social Desirability Scale employed in the present study is
described as follows:
The Social Desirability Scale aims to assess one’s so-
cial desirability and high scorers tend towards social de-
sirability but do not necessarily reflect the real situation.
Respondents rate each statement on a 5-point Likert scale
ranging from 1 = “strongly disagree” through 5 =
“strongly agree”. It contains 10 items in which 8 items
came from previous research findings [41,42], and one
sample item is “I’m born with the ability to influence
others.” The other two items have their origin in previous
research results [43,44], namely “I like almost all the
people” and “I can always achieve my goal in life.”,
which are consistent with the social desirability scale
developed by Cheung et al. [41,42]. The Cronbach alpha
Open Access JHRSS
reliability coefficient of the 10-item Social Desirability
Scale is 0.71 in the present sample.
The process of retaining items in the inventory with
three criteria is as follows: First, to increase the discri-
minability of each item, standard deviation for each item
should be greater than 1 [40] and no items with their
standard deviations less than 1 were removed. Second, to
reduce faking good responses, 15 items were removed
for correlation coefficients with the Social Desirability
Scale scores greater than 0.3. Third, because the items in
each of the subscales still possessed some redundancy in
their semantic content, the corrected item-total correla-
tions were employed to select items and this procedure
resulted in 4 items being removed from the inventory for
corrected item total correlations less than 0.30 with their
designated subscales.
Finally, 11, 15, and 20 items were retained for As-
sessing, Challenging, and Supporting dimensions, re-
spectively. Therefore, the Chinese Managerial Coaching
Behaviors Inventory consists of 46 items in total. Cor-
rected item total correlations for Assessing ranged from
0.39 to 0.69, for Challenging from 0.50 to 0.71, and for
Supporting from 0.36 to 0.63. Cronbach’s alpha reliabil-
ity coefficients for Assessing, Challenging and Support-
ing were 0.87, 0.91, and 0.92, respectively, indicating
high internal consistency of each subscale.
2.4. Further Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations)
and Pearson correlation coefficients among the three di-
mensions are shown in Table 1. The Pearson inter-cor-
relation coefficients among the three dimensions of the
managerial coaching behaviors (assessing-challenging;
assessing-supporting; challenging-supporting) were 0.87,
0.80 and 0.88, respectively (all p < 0.01), indicating each
subscale is highly correlated with each other. No signify-
cant differences in each dimension (Assessing, Chal-
lenging, and Supporting) were significant based on sex
and age.
3. Study Two: Relations of Scores on
the Big-Five Personality Traits with
Managerial Coaching Behaviors
3.1. Participants
The participants were 175 managers (117 men, 56 wo-
men, and 2 missing; M age = 32.58, SD = 7.79). 32 of
them were part-time MBA students of Guangdong Uni-
versity of Foreign Studies. The rest were managers from
4 firms (1 in manufacturing, 1 in logistics, 1 in retail
selling, and 1 in insurance). They were invited to com-
plete the Chinese Managerial Coaching Behavior Inven-
tory and Chinese translation of the NEO Five-Factor In-
ventory. Each participant was also invited to report sex
and age. MBA participants filled the questionnaire in
pencil and paper during a break in one course while other
participants completed the word-format questionnaire on
computers and emailed it back to the third author.
3.2. Measures
Chinese Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory.
This consists of the three dimensions of coaching behav-
iors (Supporting, Assessing, and Challenging). The sup-
porting subscale consists of 20 items and one sample
item is “I talk to my subordinates with non-fearful body
language, a friendly voice, and natural eye contacts.”; the
Assessing subscale consists of 11 items and one sample
item is “I often collect remarks or comments about my
subordinates from other staff.”; and the Challenging sub-
scale consists of 15 items and one sample item is “I often
discuss with my subordinates perceptions of their work
and help them surpass self-handicapping.” Forthe present
sample, Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients were
0.87, 0.91, and 0.92 for Assessing, Challenging, and Sup-
porting, respectively, indicating high internal consistency
of each subscale.
The NEO Five-Factor Inventory. This inventory, de-
veloped by Costa and McCrae [27], was employed in the
present study. It is a short form of test with 60 items to
assessthe five factors of personality with each of the five
factors being measured by 12 items. McCrae and Costa
(1989) reported that Cronbach alphas for each subscale
of the five factors were 0.70 or above. Participants rated
items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from “1”
(Strongly disagree) to “5” (Strongly agree).The present
study adopted a Chinese translation of this inventory.
Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients in previous
studies [45-47] were a bit low for the Openness to Ex-
perience subscale, ranging from 0.52 to 0.56, while those
for the other four subscales ranged from 0.64 (Agree-
ableness) to 0.85 (Neuroticism): acceptable for group
research purposes. For the present sample, Cronbach’s
alpha reliability coefficients were 0.75, 0.70, 0.55, 0.80,
and 0.68, for Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to
Experience, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness, re-
3.3. Data Analysis
First, we reported means and standard deviations for each
of the three dimensions of coaching behaviors. We also
examined sex and age differences on the three subscales.
Second, we reported inter-correlation coefficients among
scores on the three dimensions of coaching behaviors.
We also reported inter-correlation coefficients among
scores on the Big-Five personality traits. Third, we re-
ported Pearson correlation coefficients among scores on
the three dimensions of coaching behaviors and scores on
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Table 1. Descriptive statistics, Cronbach alphas and intercorrelations.
dimensions M SD N Cronbach α Assessing Challenging Supporting
Assessing 38.87 6.85 194 0.87 1
Challenging 53.78 9.31 196 0.91 0.87 1
Supporting 72.49 11.36 195 0.92 0.80 0.88 1
Note. p < .01.
Table 2. Correlations forchinese managerial coaching be-
haviors with Big-Five personality traits (N = 175).
the Big-Five personality traits. Finally, linear regression
analysis was conducted separately with each of the three
dimensions of coaching behaviors (Supporting, Assess-
ing, and Challenging) as a dependent variable and the
Big-Five personality traits as dependent variables.
ScalesAc Ch Su N E O A C
Ac 1 0.810.770.35 0.43 0.32 0.200.30
Ch 1 0.830.34 0.37 0.33 0.230.45
Su 1 0.28 0.39 0.38 0.260.31
N 1 0.62 0.22 0.520.51
E 1 0.28 0.340.41
O 1 0.250.30
A 1 0.49
C 1
3.4. Results
3.4.1. Descript i ve Analysis
Means and standard deviations for the three dimensions
of coaching behaviors are as follows: M = 71.31, SD =
10.71 for Supporting; M= 36.46, SD = 6.09 for Assessing;
M = 53.98, SD = 8.74 for Challenging. No differences
were statistically significant on the three dimensions
(Supporting, Assessing, and Challenging) based on sex
and age.
Note. *p < 0.05, p < 0.01. Ac = Accessing, Ch = Challenging, Su = Sup-
porting, N = Neuroticism, E = Extraversion, O = Openness to experience, A
= Agreeableness, C = Conscientiousness.
3.4.2. Correlation Analysis
Inter-correlation and correlation coefficients among
scores on the three dimensions of coaching behaviors
(Accessing, Challenging, and Supporting) and scores on
the Big-Five personality traits (Neuroticism, Extraver-
sion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness)
are shown in Table 2. Scores on four of the five factors
of personality (namely Extraversion, Openness, Agree-
ableness, and Conscientiousness) were significantly and
positively related to those on the three dimensions of
coaching behaviors, which confirms Hypotheses 1, 2,
and 3. As expected, the score on Neuroticism was sig-
nificantly and negatively related to scores on the three
dimensions of coaching behaviors, which confirms Hy-
pothesis 4.
Table 3. Regressions results (B) predicting accessing, chal-
lenging, and supporting from the Big-Five personality traits
(N = 195).
Scale Assessing Challenging Supporting
Neuroticism 0.11 0.07 0.03
Extraversion 0.28 0.16 0.27
Openness to Experience0.20 0.20 0.26
Agreeableness 0.05 0.07 0.06
Conscientiousness 0.10 0.32 0.11
0.24 0.28 0.24
F 10.6 13.0 10.9
df 5169 5169 5169
3.4.3. Re gr ession Analysis
Since there are no significant differences in scores on the
three dimensions of coaching behaviors and Big-Five
personality traits based on sex and age, it is reasonable
that sex and age was not entered as independent variables
as well as the Big-Five personality traits when predicting
each of the three dimensions of coaching behaviors.
Note. *p < 0.05. p < 0.01..
Challenging, and Supporting, respectively. Specifically,
Extroversion and Openness to Experience contributed
significantly to the prediction of Assessing and Support-
ing; Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness con-
tributed significantly to the prediction of Challenging;
and Neuroticism and Agreeableness did not contribute
significantly to the prediction of all the three dimensions
of coaching behaviors.
Regressions results are reported in Tabl e 3. As shown
in Table 3, each of the three dimensions of coaching
behaviors (Assessing, Challenging, and Supporting) can
be significantly predicted by the Big-Five personality
traits. The Big-Five personality traits can uniquely ex-
plain 24%, 28%, and 24% total variance for Assessing,
4. Discussions
This is one of few empirical studies on coaching in
Mainland China. The two fold aims of the present re-
search have been achieved. The first aim to develop a
Chinese Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory was
primarily achieved. Although we did not know most of
the items in the Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inven-
tory developed by Noer [14,15], we followed the proce-
dure of item generation recommended by Jackson [40]
and the 46-item Chinese Managerial Coaching Behavior
Inventory was self-compiled and developed based on
Noer’s Triangle Coaching Model [14,15]. Compared to
Noer’s Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory [29],
the results showed the Chinese Managerial Coaching
Behavior Inventory has higher internal consistency coef-
ficients, which may be due to more items for each of the
three dimensions of coaching behaviors. After an item
comparison of this inventory with Noer’s [29] inventory,
it is found that items of this inventory cover almost all
items of Noer’s [29] inventory. However, there is a big
difference that this inventory emphasizes on supervi-
sor-subordinate interactions while Noer’s inventory em-
phasizes coaching interactions between supervisors and
subordinates. The development of Chinese Managerial
Coaching Behavior Inventory has two implications for
coaching practice: first, this inventory can be used as a
measurement of managerial coaching behaviors before
and after a coaching workshops course; second, this in-
ventory provides a guideline for developing a coaching
workshops course to enhance managers’ coaching be-
haviors or skills.
The second aim to examine the relations between
managerial coaching behaviors and Big-Five personality
traits was also achieved. Results of Study Two showed
that Extraversion, Openness to Experience, and Consci-
entiousness are good predictors of managerial coaching
behaviors. There are two implications of this finding:
first, if coaching turns out to be a key indicator of high
performance and selection of managers as internal
coaches is important, this finding helps. For example, the
research results would suggest organizations select can-
didates with higher scores of Extraversion, Openness to
Experience, and Conscientiousness. Second, there is evi-
dence that personality traits can be significantly changed
under interventions. For example, Piedmont [48] re-
ported results in support of significant shifts in all the
five personality traits from pre- to post-treatment in a
6-week program of intensive outpatient counseling. As
such, managerial coaching behaviors may be enhanced
by interventions changing personality traits.
There are at least three contributions of this research as
follows: firstly, this research contributes to the current
coaching literature which is dominated by westerners’
research; secondly, the Chinese Managerial Coaching
Behaviors Inventory is a practical tool for managerial
improvements in the Chinese context. Finally, this re-
search provides us with a route to enhancing managerial
coaching behaviors and assessing managerial coaching
behaviors by personality traits.
There are at least five limitations to the present re-
search. First, the sample size (N = 196) in Study One is
small and the investigated firms are selected by conven-
ience, which does not well represent a variety of firms
such as one firm with a coaching workshops course.
Managerial coaching behaviors may vary in different
firms. Whether the Chinese Managerial Coaching Be-
haviors Inventory developed in the present research is
generalizable to all kinds of firms and managers remains
to be examined. Large sample size of participants with
different kinds of firms should be used in the future re-
search. Second, although Cronbach’s alphas for the
NEO-Five Factor Inventory were generally as expected,
Cronbach’s alpha (0.55) for Openness to Experience was
very low. Results of Study Two that Openness to Ex-
perience is a good predictor for each of the three dimen-
sions of coaching behaviors (Assessing, Challenging, and
Supporting) may be questionable because of an unreli-
able subscale of Openness to Experience. More reliable
NEO-Five Factor Inventory should be used in future re-
search. Third, according to Jackson’s [40] recommenda-
tions, limited work has been done and there is still quite a
lot of work to be done in developing the Chinese Mana-
gerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory. For example, to
test construct validity of this inventory, correlations need
to be examined between managers’ ratings of coaching
behaviors and subordinates’ ratings of their supervisors’
coaching behaviors. Correlations also need to be exam-
ined between scores on this inventory and other manage-
rial coaching behaviors inventories such as the Coaching
Behaviors Instrument [6]. To test predictive ability of
this inventory, relations need to be assessed between the
three dimensions of coaching behaviors and other vari-
ables such as job performance, job satisfaction, and per-
sonal growth. More work should be done to test the reli-
ability and validity of this measure in future research.
Fourth, this inventory with 46 items may be too long for
commercial or non-academic purposes. A shorter invent-
tory such as with 30 items or less is needed for conven-
ience in assessing the three dimensions of coaching be-
haviors in the Chinese context. A more concise Chinese
Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory should be
developed in future research. Finally, we did not do a
cultural comparison between Chinese Managerial
Coaching Behaviors Inventory and Noer’s (2005b) in-
ventory due to lack of equivalence between these two
inventories. Further research needs to address the cultural
issues of coaching behaviors as when Noer (2007) com-
pared Saudi Arabia with the US.
Open Access JHRSS
G. H. CHEN ET AL. 83
After the above discussion, at least two conclusions
can be summarized as follows:
1) Chinese Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory
is a reliable and valid tool to assess Chinese managers’
coaching behaviors.
2) Managerial coaching behaviors can be largely pre-
dicted by Big-Five personality traits.
5. Acknowledgements
Thanks goes to Dr. D.M Noer for providing us with the
Managerial Coaching Behaviors Inventory for reference.
Thanks also goes to those managers who participated in
this research.
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