Optimising Skills Transfer Via Outdoor Management Development: Part I - The Provider’s Perspective

Despite rapid expansion in provision of outdoor management development (OMD), there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the efficacy of the learning process and crucially, its transfer to the workplace. Prompted by the dearth of research into the linkage between programme aims, the methodologies utilised and outcomes that are purported to accrue, a new framework for analysing the mechanisms of skills transfer is proposed. The framework represents a decision making chain comprised of three factors, i.e. the knowledge base, learning approach and practice setting. In order to explore the veracity of the framework, data were gathered about the methodologies used by ten major providers of OMD to promote the transfer of skills in conflict handling. Results confirmed the model to be tenable insofar as the variables represented within it were reportedly utilised as aspects of skills development. Significantly, however, there was little evidence for the application of this framework, or any other process-based decision making, on the design of optimum content or method.

Burke, V. & Collins, D. (2004) Optimising Skills Transfer Via Outdoor Management Development: Part I - The Provider’s Perspective, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 23, No. 7, July, pp 678-696.