Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Lisbeth Johnson

Second Advisor

Doug De Vore

Third Advisor

Linda De Long


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore and describe the impact of career coaching on the career performance growth and retention as perceived by healthcare’s emerging leaders who participated in selected coaching program institutes for a minimum of 1 year at VHA hospitals in Southern California.

Methodology: The researcher selected a qualitative multiple case study to explore and describe VHA leaders’ perceived impact of coaching on their career performance growth and retention. Further, the researcher conducted semi-structured, interviews with 15 participants to gain a better understanding of the lived experiences of the participants at the institute they attended. The transcriptions from all interviews were analyzed using NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software used to organize and analyze interview responses to elicit themes from the participants’ answers aligned to the 2 research questions in this study.

Findings: The data analysis resulted in 21 themes with 238 references across the 2 research questions. Six key findings emerged from the data relating to the VHA participants’ lived experiences related to career growth and retention. The VHA participants identified personal growth as the crucial element relating to their career performance growth. The perception of leadership development was unanimously viewed as a significant influencer on employment retention within the VHA.

Conclusions: All participants (EL, LDI, and ECFD) perceived that individuals who are coached are equipped with personal development skills necessary to lead and coach others. All 15 VHA participants responded that recognition was an essential element for retention. Recognition proved to be a key ingredient in coaching for motivation, commitment, enthusiasm, and retention at the VHA. Leadership development was critical to career performance growth and retention of institute participants.

Recommendations: VHA should conduct studies that measure the benefits of incorporating aspects of coaching for entry-level employees to help navigate personal growth and development. Another recommendation is to replicate this study with a larger sample. The study would pay particular attention to gender differences in participants among the 3 different institutes. The study could be a longitudinal case study over a period of 5 years or more to provide expanded and meaningful long-range data on the topic of coaching within the VHA.