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Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(4), 154;

Effort and Reward Effects: Appreciation and Self-Rated Performance in e-Internships

School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Cork T23 K208, Ireland
Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield Management School, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [241 KB, uploaded 21 December 2017]


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 participants’ 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual internship; e-internship; effort-reward imbalance; performance virtual internship; e-internship; effort-reward imbalance; performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jeske, D.; Axtell, C.M. Effort and Reward Effects: Appreciation and Self-Rated Performance in e-Internships. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 154.

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