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Nowadays, a top executive has to be concurrently a manager and a leader, but also with a strong political and ethical dimension. Hence, human resource development tools have considerably evolved over the past 15 years in order to integrate this new trend. These changes concern both the nature of these tools and the pedagogical methods that are being used. Knowledge sharing is now based on a much larger scale. Beyond knowledge, the emphasis is on expertise and behavioral skills. With this in mind, customized career plans, action learning and coaching have been developed. These tools are increasing in numbers with no real comparative research that identifies their individual added value or that allows to know precisely how to select them and arbitrate between them. In order to bridge this gap we conducted a qualitative exploratory research focusing on the added value of coaching. Our results show that coaching differs positively from other techniques in its ability to foster and support selfreflection, practice and personal transformation. As such, it helps leaders and future leaders to be the main agents of regulation within the organization. Results also highlight that coaching helps top management in an unparalleled way, in terms of reflection and political behavior development and decision-making that is related to organizational transformation. The specific contribution of coaching is more apparent in a context of crisis. Identifying the boundaries of coaching revealed the arbitration factors between coaching itself and other development tools designed for top executives.

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