Images of Outdoor Management
A Synthesis of the
Literature and Participants Experiences on Outdoor Courses.
These pages are a summary of the doctoral research I completed
in July 2000 at Lancaster University in Northern England. The aim
of the research was to develop the theoretical understanding of Outdoor Management Development (OMD) by
- The published literature on OMD, contained in 120
articles drawn from between 1981 and 1998.
- The understanding course participants have of OMD, drawn
from interviews with 46 individuals
I published this summary on web pages together to save time and paper. They
saved me from carrying paper to the AEE international conference in November
2000 and from printing information to send out to fellow researchers. I hope
you enjoy them.
My aim in publishing this summary is:
- To publish the conclusions from my doctoral research. OK,
I think theyre significant, and my examiners
thought they were worthy of a PhD, but youll want
to judge for yourself. They examine the role of emotions
in the process of experiential learning on OMD courses.
Ultimately, this is presented as a model of active
experimentation, a process which supports
delegates learning from the experience of attending
an OMD course.
- To serve as an introduction to anyone considering
conducting research in the field of OMD. I guess some
readers may want to use the pages as a resource and
Ill build on them in various ways to help save
future researchers needlessly covering the same ground I
found I had to cover.
- To present information about the research methodology I adopted. Research
into training in general is preoccupied with the question "Does it work?"
and OMD is no exception. My approach was different. I took a naturalistic
approach based on the in-depth study of participants understanding of
a specific form of OMD. This is in contrast to prevalence of the quasi-experimental
methodology often adopted in most research into OMD
- To save future researchers some time in pursuing the
literature. Theres a lot more published than you
think, and a wealth of unpublished reports. In collecting
together my sources of information on OMD, I found that a
large proportion of it takes the form of academic theses,
which reside mainly on library bookshelves in
universities, and therefore remain unread and relatively
- To add to the body of knowledge on the field
on Outdoor Management Development (OMD). Much of what we
know about OMD is based on opinion stated as fact, the
results of research which adopts a piecemeal
course-by-course approach and contributions from other
disciplines. In posting information on a web page I hope
to contribute to a growing, increasingly coherent
disciplinary community in this field.
I've tried to summarise the research as briefly as possible, but of course
it's no substitute to reading the full thesis , which is lodged at Lancaster
University Library, England, UK. The full reference is: "Donnison,
Philip. Images of outdoor management development : a synthesis of the
literature and participants' experiences on outdoor courses. Ph.D.
(Lancaster), 2000". Lancaster University Library catalogue contains