Surveys and evaluates the existing literature on open and distance learning, with particular emphasis on the management development field. Aspects of open learning terminology are clarified by reference to previous literature and by a diagrammatic synthesis of the different terms and concepts. Explores and summarizes in diagrammatic format the relationship of open learning and management development. A discussion of the existing models and frameworks supports the findings that there is a gap in the literature between what is happening in the market and what is represented in the literature. Argues in conclusion that there is a need for a market‐driven multiple stakeholders model of open learning in management development which would help to explain the interactions of the various different and competing actors. Such a model would help to explain the questions over the future direction of open learning in management development and would go some way to explaining more fully the phenomenon of open learning which is still not fully understood because of its continually developing nature.
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