Effort and reward effects: Appreciation and self-rated performance in e-internships

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Jeske, Debora
Axtell, Carolyn M.
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As new work and internship options arise, educators, employers and students seek information about the learning benefits of these new arrangements. This is also the case in terms of e-internships. The purpose of this study was to assess the merit of the effort-reward imbalance model to understand appreciation and performance as reported by the e-interns (also known as virtual interns). The study involved a cross-sectional sample of e-interns. The sample was recruited using the snowball technique and two specialized internship portals. Participants were grouped into a number of conditions. Effort conditions depended on participantsâ reported goal clarity and satisfaction with support. Reward conditions were determined based on the (un-)availability of training and payment in e-internships. When participants fell into high effort or low reward conditions, they reported lower perceived performance. They also felt less valued. The reverse pattern was observed when participants completed their internship under low effort and high reward conditions. By identifying conditions under which e-interns will report higher performance and appreciation, employers are provided with starting points for the design and reward practices. In addition, the results suggest that e-internships may share similar characteristics of traditional internships which may similarly vary in terms of the value and rewards they bring to interns.
Virtual internship , e-internship , Effort-reward imbalance , Performance
Jeske, D. and Axtell, C. (2017) 'Effort and reward effects: Appreciation and self-rated performance in e-internships', Social Sciences, 6(4), 154 (14pp). doi:10.3390/socsci6040154
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