Critically examines the basis on which outdoor management development (OMD) is founded. Much of the available literature on the subject is anecdotal and serves only to perpetuate an illusion of management development through activities such as climbing and canoeing in beautiful scenery. Identifies six criteria which represent the necessary constituents of OMD; these are not exclusive to OMD and may be found in other forms of management development, thus refuting the illusion that OMD offers something unique. The criteria provide a template for managers to evaluate the suitability and quality of OMD programmes and thereby enable them to make a cost‐effective choice from the wide range of courses available.
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