Impacts of adopting a new management practice: Operational Coaching™


This article reports the results of a randomized field experiment that tested the effects of a new business intervention among managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England.


Individual managers (learners) were randomly assigned in clusters (companies) to either an intervention group (265 learners; 40 SMEs) receiving a novel virtual, blended training program designed to stimulate a change in management behavior or a no-intervention group (118 learners; 22 SMEs).


The results show that the primary objective of changing management behavior to use more of an Operational Coaching™ style of management has been achieved (to a statistically significant level), and this is against the backdrop of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Positive trends in SME productivity metrics were also observed in the intervention group companies.


These important results could be indicative of the economic and productivity impact that a change in management behavior could have, and they warrant serious further investigation.