An assessment of entrepreneurial orientation in corporate training divisions of selected South African banks
The instability within the financial services sector is not a new phenomenon, and this has been exacerbated by the global financial crisis. There is a requirement of banks to stay at the forefront of change and innovation, due to the fact that technological advancements and heightened competition are changing the face of banking as we know it. The requirement of corporate training divisions to be innovative is also apparent in the literature. Corporate training divisions within the banking industry operate against the backdrop of a severe skills shortage within South Africa. Furthermore, the necessity of corporate training divisions to be able to show a return on investment for money spent on training is evident. Hence, there is a requirement of both the banking industry as well as corporate training divisions to function entrepreneurially. A relationship is evident in the literature between the performance of organisations, which is seen as a multidimensional construct and entrepreneurial orientation. The primary objective of this research study was to investigate the impact of entrepreneurial orientation on the perceived success of corporate training divisions within selected South African banks. The dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation assessed included Innovativeness; Competitive Aggressiveness; Autonomy; Risk-Taking and Proactiveness. The study also identified the success factors of corporate training organisations and correlated these factors with the dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation. Secondary objectives were also formulated to support the attainment of the primary objective. Fourteen South African banks‟ corporate training divisions were selected to participate in the research study. A comprehensive literature study was followed by an empirical study. An existing questionnaire was adapted to assess entrepreneurial orientation, and a questionnaire was designed based on the literature study to assess the perceived success factors within the selected corporate training divisions. The survey was housed on the internet in electronic format. Factor analysis was applied to assess the discriminant validity of the items measuring entrepreneurial orientation and success factors. Furthermore, Kaiser‟s criterion was used to determine the number of factors to be extracted and the Cronbach alpha coefficients were calculated to assess the internal consistency of the items measuring the various factors under investigation. Regression analysis was used to determine relationships between the entrepreneurial constructs and the success factors as identified in the study. Furthermore, hypotheses were formulated and tested regarding the correlations between the entrepreneurial dimensions and the success factors within corporate training organisations. Relationships between some demographic factors and the constructs under investigation were also analysed. After a detailed analysis of the data, it was concluded that positive relationships do exist between some constructs of entrepreneurial orientation and some constructs of success factors of corporate training organisations. One negative relationship was evident. Positive relationships were also observed between some demographic factors and the constructs investigated. Consequently, Competitive Aggressiveness demonstrated a positive influence on Learner Reaction2; Learning; Learner Behaviour; Business Results; Return on Investment; Supportive Learning Environment; Concrete Learning Processes and Leadership Reinforces Learning within corporate training divisions. Furthermore, the results of the multiple regression analysis also indicated that respondents within the selected banks view that Innovativeness has a positive influence on Supportive Learning Environment; Concrete Learning Processes and Leadership Reinforces Learning. A negative relationship was indicated between Innovativeness and Learner Behaviour. In addition, the results of the multiple regression analysis disclosed that respondents within the selected banks perceive that Autonomy has a positive influence on Learner Behaviour; Supportive Learning Environment and Leadership Reinforces Learning. Moreover, the results of the multiple regression analysis disclosed that respondents within the selected banks perceive that Risk-Taking has a positive influence on Learning; Business Results; and Return on Investment. Also, a statistically significant difference in terms of the mean values in which respondents of 39 years and younger and respondents of 40 years and older perceived six variables, namely Competitive Aggressiveness; Learning; Learner Behaviour; Business Results; Return on Investment and Supportive Learning Environment were indicated. Practical statistical significances which yielded medium effect sizes for Learner Behaviour and Return on Investment were noted. No statistical significant differences were observed in the mean values of males and females. A statistically significant difference in terms of the mean values in which respondents with a highest qualification being a diploma or lower, and respondents with a highest qualification being a degree or higher perceive Learning; Learner Behaviour; Return on Investment and Concrete Learning Processes were reflected. However, no practical statistical significances were noted. Based on the findings of the empirical study recommendations were made to cultivate and foster entrepreneurial orientation within corporate training organisations within the banking industry.