Coaching Styles and Job Performance: Millennial Employee Characteristics in the Asian Financial Industry Context


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date27 Aug 2020


Using Cognitive Resource Theory (CRT) as the overarching theoretical framework, this thesis explores the role of employees’ cognitive style and motivational characteristic as moderating factors of the effect of leaders’ coaching style on subordinate’s job performance. Prior research on coaching style has focused primarily on the cognitive resources that the leader brought to the team or organization but was relatively silent on how subordinates’ reliance on these resources would impact on their performance. In this thesis, it was hypothesized that guidance coaching from a leader would have a positive relationship on subordinate’s job performance and such a relationship will be stronger for employees with high need for cognitive guidelines and with low need for cognitive resource demanding impression management tactics. The hypotheses were tested with data from millennial workers and their managers working for Asian financial services. The data were collected from focus group sessions and also a quantitative survey with time-lagged design. My findings based on hierarchical linear modelling showed that guidance coaching and facilitative coaching have positive and significant impact on job performance. However, guidance coaching had a stronger effect on job performance for employees who had characteristics of high need for cognitive closure and also who used low self-promotion impression management tactics. Coaching style is a crucial managerial capability that allows subordinates to secure positive job performance. This research highlights the training that organizations might want to provide to their managers, such as awareness of subordinates’ strong or weak need for cognitive closure and impression management tendencies.