Improvement of work-integrated learning through corporate entrepreneurship to enhance return on investment
Pienaar, Winnyfred Pettula
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Investing and developing talent plays a crucial role in organizations. It is one of the core functions and resource to manage an effective and efficient business, followed by time and finances. Thus in a working environment, education, exposure and experience remain the backbone of any strategy in a business organization. Entrepreneurs are also being developed with the aim of enhancing the individual’s innovation and creativity. In this study, the researcher’s main objective was to establish whether McDonald’s WIL programme really results in an improved Return on Investment (ROI) for the organization. This was supported by the four secondary objectives. The first objective was to identify potential benefits of a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme through a literature study. The second one was to explore the reasons why some Restaurant Managers (RMs) find it difficult to implement what they have learnt during and after the in-house training. The third objective was to recommend a proper shoulder-to-shoulder coaching method to enhance the application of the learning in the restaurant and improve the level of corporate entrepreneurship in the organisation, and the last objective was to suggest a framework for WIL that will lead to improved ROI. The study is inclusive of operations research where application of knowledge is changed to influence outcome. The RMs’ evaluation is vocational and old school, and is not relevant to the ever changing business environment. Their analytical skills, diagnostic skills and the ability to comprehend what they are accountable for was a challenge. Reporting and proposals and action to be taken when they are faced with opportunities were very limited. They need exposure on business skills. Therefore, academic and educational exposure is important to achieve this objective. The researcher followed a descriptive research design which was mainly based on qualitative and a bit quantitative methods. The quantitative method was chosen as it is used in investigations among groups of restaurant managers based on the application of theory into practice and how the organisation supports the achievement of the objectives. The sample selection from a population of about 140 RMs was done based on their competencies over 3-4 years in the position. Focused group interviews of four (4) to six (6) people were conducted, and an ultimate number of 37 individuals were interviewed. The results of this study revealed poor shoulder-to-shoulder coaching, ineffective time management and poor communication, lack of trust from a knowledge perspective and inadequate feedback given during the implementation of what was learnt in the course from the WIL themes. In corporate entrepreneurship (CE) trust and lack of support in networking, and broken relationship between the RM and operations consultant (OC). Lack of empowerment, poor delegation also came out as barriers for the RMs to trust and lack of formal mentoring programmes. Regarding return on investment (ROI) or return on expectations (ROE), the lack of recognition and rewarding, inadequate time spent for people development and coaching and knowledge sharing were some of the challenges.