Learning to Lead at 5,267 feet: An Empirical Study of Outdoor Management Training and MBA Students’ Leadership Development

This study examined the leadership development of MBA students enrolled in an Organizational Behavior course. Students enrolled in either an in-class section or a section that included an intensive, outdoor training component called Leadership on the Edge. Results from Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Practices Inventory (2003) showed that students in the outdoor training section demonstrated greater improvements in leadership practices over the course of the semester. Reflective comments from students in the outdoor section indicated it was a transformative personal experience that is unlikely to be emulated in a classroom. Implications for leadership educators are discussed.