Powerful Learning Experiences in Management Learning and DevelopmentA study of the experiences of managers attending residential development training courses at the Brathay Hall Trust (1988-9) by Roger Greenaway, The University of Lancaster, Centre for the Study of Management Learning, Doctor of Philosophy awarded for this thesis December 1995
ABSTRACTThis thesis investigates the experiences of managers attending residential development training courses at the Brathay Hall Trust in Cumbria. 'Development Training' is defined in this thesis as "a form of experiential learning which is intensified by the use of challenging activities". When the participants are managers, the approach is generally termed 'outdoor management development' (OMD). [Outside the UK, the equivalent terms for these areas of practice are 'Experience-Based Training and Development' (EBTD) and 'Corporate Adventure Training' (CAT).]
The main purpose of the research was to discover the variety of learning and development experiences valued by managers, while also looking for patterns common to all (or most) of these experiences.
Managers were questioned about the experiences which most affected their learning and development. End of course questionnaires were completed by 100 managers. The experiences described in these questionnaires were analysed and categorised, and were then used as a basis for selecting 11 managers for interviews between 2 and 6 weeks after their course. In order to highlight processes rather than outcomes, the emphasis of the questioning was on what managers experienced.
14 Brathay trainers were also asked during two research workshops to describe the kinds of experiences which they felt were of greatest value to managers attending Brathay courses. These two workshops, and a final one in 1990, provided opportunities for presenting and discussing preliminary findings with trainers. The trainers' perspectives differed significantly from those of participants.
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