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

Philip S. Rose, Stephen T. T. Teo, Julia Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
Early online date24 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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