Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: William Wilkinsky


In this thesis, I assert positive psychology is the science at the heart of coaching and argue it is an evidence-based coaching model. I provide a background of positive psychology and briefly discuss its history, evolution, psychological influences and current challenges. I discuss the nature of coaching, varying definitions and common themes. Critical questions surrounding Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and how can it be applied to coaching are also addressed. Examples of single, integrative and cross-disciplinary theoretical approaches to coaching are also explored. In my final chapter, I review and answer my thesis question of whether positive psychology is an evidence based approach to coaching, including an example from a recent client engagement. Coaching considerations for using positive psychology are explored as is the future of positive psychology coaching and research areas.



Date Posted: 20 June 2008