It has become imperative to stimulate and support employees to behave entrepreneurially within organizations (intrapreneurship). However, little is known about how digital, massive, and scalable business education and training formats such as massive open online course (MOOCs) can contribute to vocational and educational training (VET) in general, and to nurture intrapreneurial behavior and corresponding intentions in specific. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the potential effect of a MOOC on intrapreneurial intentions of learners.
Data were acquired from 412 employees taking a MOOC on intrapreneurship for constructs embedded in the theory of planned behavior, tailored to the context of intrapreneurship. The proposed method employs Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to compare the levels of constructs before and after the course and longitudinal structural equation modeling for gauging the initial level of intention and prior experience.
The research reveals a positive effect on the perceived behavioral control, intentions, and attitude toward the behavior of learners by the MOOC and changing perceptions regarding subjective norms among peers. Besides indicating the potential for digital business training on an extensive scale, the study demonstrates the applicability of MOOCs as integrative self-selection funnel for a reliable identification of high-potential intrapreneurs.
The findings are relevant for VET providers, organizations and business educators, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, to understand better the multifaceted capacity of digital transformation, illustrated with training to stimulate intrapreneurship.