• Canoas amarradas a un pantalán en un pantano antes de realizar un Evento de Team Building
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The study found a wealth of empirical research on Experiential Learning based T&D programmes in the specialised literature. There is a jungle of terms and acronyms which stand for this type of programmes: OMD, CAT, EBTD, OCT, PDP, Development Training, Adventure-Based Experiential Training and the various types of Outdoor Training- that is Adventure-based, Outdoor-centered and Wilderness programs. The above areas of knowledge have been identified by this research as the most direct antecedent to TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as described in the present study.

According to Dr Greenaway (1995, abstract) outside the UK, the equivalent terms for Outdoor Management Development (OMD) are Experience-Based T&D (EBTD) and Corporate Adventure Training (CAT).
As indicated by Donninson (2000, Chapter- What is OMD?) similar areas of practice to that of OMD have also many other labels such as Adventure-Based Experiential Training and Outdoor Training. Furthermore, there are several types of the latter used in the USA: Adventure-based, Outdoor-centered and Wilderness programs (Shivers-Blackwell, 2003 p. 615).

This study, although is set firmly in its European context, focuses geographically speaking on the UK. Therefore, since the research project deliberately undertakes an approach to the UK TEAM BUILDING EVENTS market, the terminology and areas of knowledge studied will be for practical reasons those commonly used in the UK. Furthermore, since it is beyond of the scope this thesis to explore the insights and particularities of each type of programme or area of knowledge mentioned, this research will now look in turn at OMD, Development Training, OCT and PDP rather than EBTD, CAT, Adventure-Based Experiential Training and the various types of Outdoor Training- that is Adventure-based, Outdoor-centered and Wilderness programs.


To quote Dr Greenaway (1995) in his doctoral thesis:   

    “Development training is a form of Experiential Learning which is intensified by the use of challenging activities which are typically, but not necessarily, adventurous outdoor ones” Greenaway (1995, chapter 1.5, p.28)

    “When the participants [of Development training programmes] are managers, the approach is generally termed ‘outdoor management development’ (OMD)” Greenaway (1995 abstract)


“OMD is a set of carefully sequenced and integrated Experiential Learning activities conducted (primarily) in the outdoors and designed to facilitate participant behaviour change. Various Experiential Learning activities are used in OMD programmes, from river rafting and rock climbing to solving problems in teams with a variety of challenges (e.g. with all team members blindfolded). The activities are important only in the sense that they provide the vehicle for learning. The design, facilitation and debriefing of activities are the critical parts of the programme” McEvoy & Buller (1997) p.209

“Managers from diverse sectors of industry have participated [as part of OMD programmes] in a plethora of outdoor challenges such as bridge building exercises, climbing and overnight expeditions in the tacit belief that the learning generated from these outdoor challenges and experiences will improve subsequent work performance” Burke & Collins (2003 p.679)
Loynes, (1990) cited in Martin (2003 p.17) argued that Outdoor Management Development (OMD) is based on Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning model.
According to McEvoy & Buller (1997 p.209) there are multiple possible objectives in OMD programmes, including: personal development; manager development; organization development; and team development. For Collins (2003b p.715) typically, OMD programmes facilitate the development and transfer of a range of managerial skills and abilities including those of leadership, productive team-working, and group co-operation.

Burke & Collins (2003a) consider OMD is a “highly successful industry” (p.615). Businesses are investing hundreds of millions of dollars each year on outdoor management development (OMD) (Weaver, 1999 cited in Burke & Collins, 2003b p.715). In the UK in 1998, it was estimated that 550 million pounds a year were spent on courses” (p.679). Despite rapid expansion in provision of OMD (Burke & Collins, 2003 p.678), there remains a profound dearth of both empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives to support the value of OMD as Event Tourism resource or existing supply.

For Badger et al. (1997 p.319) the most direct antecedent of Outdoor Development is in the outward bound programmes run by the Outward Bound Trust, an organization that has been operating since 1941.


Outdoor education courses have been developed for Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programmes and corporate settings (Bank, 1994 cited in Martin 2001, pp.16-17).

“The development of management training in the outdoors was based on the belief that by removing people from their normal environment and challenging them through mainly physical activities, reviewing what had happened, and then reflecting on the experience, would enable the skills learnt to be transferred back to the work place” Martin (2001 pp.16-17)

Loynes, (1990) cited in Martin (2003 p.17) argued that Professional Development Programmes (PDP) are based on Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning model.
Martin (2001 p.17) relates PDP and Outward Bound. Professional Development Programmes are also provided by Outward Bound which yield “a significant income for many of the schools” (Outward Bound International, 1997 cited in Martin 2003, p.17).


Sakofs and Armstrong (1996 cited in Martin 2001 p.12) indicated that Outward Bound had played a significant role in the development of experiential education in the 20th century. Kurt Hahn’s philosophy “has influenced methods of training and learning for both outdoor education and Experiential Learning” (Martin 2001, p.40). Furthermore, for Brown (2003) “the modern concept of Experiential Learning has its roots in Outward Bound and its founder Kurt Hahn”. The philosophy of his founder Kurt Hahn was based on providing experiential education programmes that empowered young people to fulfil their potential (Stetson, 1996 cited in Martin 2001 p.3). Outward Bound is still based upon Hahn’s philosophy, as indicated in their mission statement:

Outward Bound’s mission statement:

“Outward Bound is a non-profit educational organisation created to stimulate personal development and generate understanding between people. This is achieved by impelling them out of familiar environments and setting new challenges through safe but demanding adventure experiences, which inspire responsibility, self-reliance, teamwork, confidence and community service”
Outward Bound International (1999, p.1) quoted in Martin (2001, p.3)

Stetson (1997 cited in Martin 2001 p. 39-40) pointed out that there were three values central to Hahn’s philosophy of education and the purpose of OB: to empower people to fulfil their own highest potential; to foster compassion; to develop courage.


OCT was defined by Shivers-Blackwell (2003) as

“An Experiential Learning program that utilizes outdoor-centered challenge activities to foster the personal and professional development of organizational members by focusing on team development, leadership skills, decision making and awareness” (p. 615)

Outdoor challenge training (OCT) goes on Shivers-Blackwell (2003):

“[OCT] is believed by practitioners to be an effective human resource development strategy, particularly for enhancing one’s self-concept, leadership, supportive communication, problem solving, planning, promoting trust among coworkers, and Team building in work groups” (p. 614)