A conceptual model to measure the level of skills for managerial competence of business school-educated managers in South Africa
This study investigates management competencies of business school-educated managers and leaders. Building on previous research, this study attempts to reflect on the ever-shifting sands of the competency requirements and the roles of managers and leaders in the context of business in the 21st century. More specifically, this study aims to pinpoint the current level of managerial skills and competencies that are fundamental to enable high performance among business managers. This is specifically relevant given the large-scale impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its influence on innovation and disruption within the broader impact of automation of jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself. This requires rapidly changing roles and competencies for managerial effectiveness. Although there are many ways to explore the linkage between management education and managerial competencies, this study departed by comparing existing theoretical models to measure competencies of managers and leaders educated within the business school environment and develops a new theoretical model to do so. The new model comprises eleven management competencies; they are leading change, cultural intelligence, team building, conflict management, communication skills, a global leader mindset, emotional intelligence, career awareness, personal value system, and external and ethical influences. These competencies are measured by 42 criteria. The new model is empirically evaluated by using data obtained from 385 respondents who completed a five-point Likert scale. The questionnaires were independently administered to business school educated managers, and 94% responded. The competencies and their respective measuring criteria were statistically validated, subjected to exploratory factor analysis to identify the inherent latent variables and then finally measured as per the newly developed model. Five factors were identified. They are Leadership skills, Managerial challenges, Emotional intelligence, Personal value system, and Cultural sensitivity and cumulatively explain a variance of 56.5%. The data have a high reliability coefficient of 0.947 as measured by Cronbach?s coefficient Alpha. Given the dearth of South African studies, this study contributes not only to the paucity of research work undertaken in this area but also makes a finite contribution to the body of knowledge of managerial competencies as a managerial distinctive, with particular reference to modelling a framework that could measure managerial competence. This research is also of value to managers who aim to improve their managerial and leadership skills after studying advanced management programmes at business schools. Also, this research study is of value to employees of such managers and also to academia aiming to explore this avenue of managerial and leadership skills development further. In so doing this study contributes to a larger management discourse within the South African context.