Images of Outdoor Management Development.

Introduction Contents Abstract What is OMD? Literature Methodology Conclusions Contact Me


My analysis of the contents of the transcripts revealed that the understanding participants developed of Outdoor Management Development (OMD) could be clustered under 5 main headings:

  1. Personal Learning Outcomes
  2. Team Learning Outcomes
  3. Transfer of Learning
  4. Course Methods
  5. Participants' Reactions to the Course

Under each Cluster there where a number of related Categories which contained common themes. Each category has a Conceptual Label and a Definition, built from the themes that are gathered around it. For a more detailed description of the content analysis I conducted to arrive at this Typology take a look at the Methodology web page.

1st Cluster: Personal Learning Outcomes - What participants learnt from the OMD course about themselves.

Conceptual Label Definition
Category 1:


A realisation and greater understanding of the kind of person they are, where their talents lie, what they find difficult and how others perceive them.
Category 2:


Finding out more about their strengths and weaknesses, or skills and limitations. Discussing these, openly, in order to develop new skills, play to people's strengths and to gain and give support to each other.
Category 3:


Increased feelings of self-confidence in a wide variety of settings. They feel more willing and more able to try things they perceive as difficult or challenging.
Category 4:


Clarification of understanding of their role as a manager leading to changes in the approach they adopt to the staff they manage.

2nd Cluster: Team Learning Outcomes - What participants learnt from the OMD course about working with others.

Conceptual Label Definition
Category 5:


The course developed team-working practices, which had positive effects back at work.
Category 6:

Getting to know each other

Participants on the course felt they got to know each other, in depth, quicker than they would have at work. Some described this as becoming friends.
Category 7:

Support and encouragement

Increased levels of support and encouragement. This led to a willingness to ask for help and enabled them to try new and sometimes uncomfortable behaviours during the course.
Category 8:

Team roles

Individual team members are different to each other. It is worth recognising these differences when working together.

3rd Cluster: Transfer of Learning Outcomes - What participants felt they could apply back at work from the OMD course.

Conceptual Label Definition
Category 9:

Action Planning

A deliberate, conscious application of learning back at work.
Category 10:


Some participants identified positive effects back at work from the course. Others identified difficulties applying learning or in finding the causes of any effects. Some made deliberate, conscious applications of their learning, for others it changed the way they felt, which led to changes in their behaviour.

4th Cluster: Course Methods -What participants thought of the approach of the course and the way it helped them to learn.

Conceptual Label Definition
Category 11:


For some, the activities were a useful way to learn and they could identify specific insights arising from particular exercises. Others questioned their relevance.
Category 12:


The differences in using activities and the outdoors made them more useful than being taught in a `classroom'.
Category 13:


The novelty of this environment meant that they were likely to behave differently to the way they are in work.
Category 14:


The reviews following each exercise were useful, but not everyone enjoyed them. The exchange of feedback was seen as a particularly important element of these reviews.
Category 15:


The opportunity to experiment with new approaches and behaviours, together with the chance to learn, whatever the outcomes of one's actions.
Category 16:

Trainer's Approach

The trainer's actions were supportive, coaching and questioning.

5th Cluster: Participants' Reactions to the course -How participants felt about the course, its approach and its methods.

Conceptual Label Definition
Category 17:


They enjoyed many aspects of the course and found that this went hand in hand with it being useful. There was also mention of aspects of the course they did not enjoy.
Category 18:


A specific area of positive feelings that participants mentioned was the sense of achievement they felt.
Category 19:


They felt under some pressure during the course and fearful of some activities. They also felt that they had choice about how they reacted to challenging circumstances.
Category 20:

Relaxed Atmosphere

The course felt relaxed as well as intense. This helped them to face any challenging aspects of the course and get to know each other more.
Category 21:


The feeling that they were being watched and their behaviour was being analysed.
Category 22:


They reported feeling tired during the course, which had an effect on their participation on the course.
Category 23:


Despite a pre-course briefing, they had little prior knowledge of the course. Many commented that it was better not to have too much information about the course.


Philip Donnison

October 2000

Introduction Contents Abstract What is OMD? Literature Methodology Conclusions Contact Me