This research project sought to determine if there existed an agreement on the essential criteria necessary for instilling and improving effective risk management related decision-making abilities in both new and seasoned outdoor leaders. Utilizing the Delphi Method, a panel of expert adventure education professionals was assembled and queried about concepts, principles, techniques, or practices that could influence the development of decision-making proficiencies. The study found that six main criteria have significant impact on the process: (a) extensive experience within the field of outdoor leadership; (b) quality reflection to derive understanding from previous experiences; (c) possession of certain personal traits associated with the development of decision-making abilities; (d) operation within a social and/or organizational cultural climate with specific values and mores; (e) clarification of personal, professional, and/or organizational visions and goals; and (f) comprehension and usage of specific tools to assist during decision-making processes. The results provide insight into what constitutes decision-making development as it relates to risk management in outdoor and adventure programs. The findings support having opportunities to practice in positions of increasing responsibility for the care and safety of others under the mentorship of more experienced and competent practitioners; examining and assessing the learning derived from experiences; being aware, passionate, and willing to be held accountable; fostering a culture which promotes learning, is dedicated to safety, and shares a common language; having clearly defined goals and objectives; and understanding an industry's and program's expectations may successfully prepare professionals to effectively mitigate risk and reduce accidents in the field.
|Advisor:||Ustin, Arlene R.|
|Commitee:||Box, Bob, Mitten, Denise|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Adult education, Recreation|
|Keywords:||Adventure education, Decision-making, Judgment, Outdoor education, Outdoor leadership, Risk management|
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