This paper aims to summarise the current state of coaching research as a basis for future studies. It seeks to provide a frame of reference for researchers and reflective practitioners interested in research to ensure that future studies build on previous work and add to our knowledge and understanding of coaching as a unique domain of practice. The paper is divided into three sections. The first two sections review the state of coaching research over the past 100 years, with a greater focus on the past decade when the number of studies published has accelerated. The paper divides the recent research into categories: the nature of coaching, coach behaviour studies, client behaviour studies, relationship studies and executive coaching impact studies and discusses research methods including Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Grounded Theory and Discourse Analysis, randomised controlled trials, meta-analysis and mixed methods research. The third section considers the future direction research may take. It identifies key themes and sample research questions which the authors believe could be the focus of future research. The paper concludes by noting that coaching research is likely to continue to grow over the coming decade, and this growth offers an opportunity for the research–practitioner partnership to be strengthened and maintained.
The IOC is a global community of coaches.