Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Rebecca Reichard

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Michelle Bligh

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey Yip

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Richard Ryan

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2019 Hunter T Black


coaching, leadership, management, managerial coaching, self-determination theory, well-being

Subject Categories

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Psychology


Despite increasing practitioner application and decades of research on the topic of managerial coaching, the topic continues to lack conceptual clarity, foundational theory, and sound measures. As a result, there is little understanding of the underlying psychological mechanisms connecting coaching behaviors to employee outcomes. This dissertation develops a new theory-based framework and survey measure of managerial coaching behaviors (the managerial coaching questionnaire; MCQ) grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Time-lagged results support the theoretical propositions of the framework with results showing a positive relationship between the MCQ and employee wellbeing mediated by employee need satisfaction, as well as the MCQ’s predictive validity above and beyond established measures of leader behaviors (n = 328). The MCQ survey measure is developed using expert panel review and data collected from full-time working professionals in the United States sourced from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to evaluate structural, construct, and predictive validity. Confirmatory factor analysis reveals good fit with the hypothesized structure, as well as evidence of convergent and discriminant validity using established measures of managerial coaching, transformational leadership, empowering leadership, and social desirability. This study advances managerial coaching research by providing a theory-based framework and measure of managerial coaching behaviors and establishing need satisfaction as a primary psychological mechanism. In addition, this study contributes to leadership theory by proposing that the creation of social conditions that either facilitate or hinder employees’ intrinsic motivation through need satisfaction is a key mechanism of effective leadership and management.