Converting interns into regular employees: The role of intern-supervisor exchange

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2014, 84 (2), pp. 153 - 163
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Internship participation has undergone rapid expansion over the past three decades, to a point where today, many graduates and internship host-organisations regard internships as the preferred career entry point into a range of professional vocations. To date, however, there has been a dearth of studies examining factors that can influence the conversion of interns into regular employees with their host-organisations. This study bridges that gap as it involved the collection of data at three time intervals from 303 intern-supervisor dyads (n = 606), in order to determine the key predictors of intern conversion. Findings indicated that although intern-supervisor exchange played a strong role in influencing intern's performance, learning opportunities and satisfaction it did not play a significant role in predicting both the intern's and the supervisor's conversion intentions. Nonetheless, both intern's and supervisor's conversion intentions measured during the internship period did play a strong role in predicting actual conversion to employment at the host-organisation subsequent to the intern's graduation. Thus, this study begins to shed light on the dynamics on intern conversion, as a pivotal early juncture in an employee's career lifespan. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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