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Personal profile

Personal information

Erik de Haan is Professor of Organisation Development & Coaching at the School of Business and Economics of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has a PhD in psychophysics from Utrecht University. He is programme director of the Executive Education programme Executive Coaching.

Erik is also Director of Ashridge’s Centre for Coaching and Programme Director of the MSc in Executive Coaching and the post-graduate diploma in Advanced Supervision at Ashridge. His focus is on executive coaching, action learning and peer consultation, politics and power in organisations, O.D. consulting and emotional aspects of working in teams and organisations.

Erik studied Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam and gained his PhD in Utrecht with his research into learning and decision-making processes in perception (1994). He studied counselling and group dynamics, then completed an MA in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic, and became a BPC registered psychodynamic psychotherapist. Up to his move to London in 2003 he acquired ten years of consulting experience in the Netherlands with different firms.

Erik has published over 150 research articles as well as eleven books. His first book looked into the play King Lear and its lessons for managers and consultants (1997) - published in English as The consulting Process as Drama (2003). He has also published Learning with Colleagues (2001), Coaching with Colleagues (2004; with Yvonne Burger), Fearless Consulting (2005), Relational Coaching (2007), Supervision in Action (2011), The Leadership Shadow: how to recognize and avoid derailment, hubris and overdrive (2014; with Anthony Kasozi), Pocketbook Team Coaching (2016), and Critical Moments in Executive Coaching (2019), all in Dutch and English. He also co-edited with Charlotte Sills the book Coaching Relationships (Libri, 2012); with 11 graduates of the Ashridge MSc in Executive Coaching the book Behind Closed Doors: stories from the coaching room (Libri, 2013); and with Willemine Regouin the 8th edition of Supervisie: gids voor supervisanten. He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Philosophy of Management, the American Psychological Association Consulting Psychology Journal, and for the Dutch Tijdschrift voor Coaching.


The focus of his research is on consulting and coaching as it takes place in real settings with real clients. This encompasses some outcome research studies (i.e., quantitative research into the effectiveness of generalised interventions), but also qualitative and narrative research. In organisation development and coaching there is a great need for research into change as it takes place in real settings and into how this change comes about: "What is needed is a research method that can tap the rich clinical experience of skilled practitioners in a way that will also push them to explicate what they know, yielding a rigorous description of the important regularities they have observed" (Rice & Greenberg, in Patterns of Change).

For more information and downloadable articles, see www.erikdehaan.com

Ancillary activities

  • Centre for Coaching, Ashridge Business School | Berkhamsted, U.K. | Directeur | 2011-11-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


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