About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6036-6042
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1427

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY CREATION: HOW INTERNS BUILD THEIR IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE

R. Karaja, J. Martinez Del Rio

University of Almeria (SPAIN)
Internships have become an increasingly common yet unexplored feature of the labor market, particularly among university students hoping to improve their employability and career opportunities. The aim of this paper is to identify the key factors determining success for internships, interns’ motivation and the organizational practices that better predict internship success.

Despite internships have been mostly overlooked by human resource management literature (Beenen & Pichler, 2014; Beenen & Rousseau, 2010), it constitutes an interesting area of research because most of the motivation and performance management literature implicitly assumes economic exchanges between the company and the employee. However, internships are very frequently unpaid and in the vast majority of the cases, the economic compensation do not cover the basic costs of the intern. Therefore, because of the lack of prescriptive literature and the omission of the typical motivation methods, firms frequently perceive internships as a sort of terra incognita where new practices have to be developed.

In addition, it is unknown how interns manage their incipient professional identity during the internships. Employees devote substantial time and energy to construct their professional image in the search of social and self- approval, career success and legitimation (Baumeister, 1982; Ibarra, 1999; Roberts, 2005). For interns, the internships constitute the earliest professional experience right after (or meanwhile) their bachelor’s degree. Therefore, interns go to a process of discovering and constructing their professional self, finding frequent contradictions and problems during the process.

This study develops and tests a model of social identity based impression management (SIM) skills used by interns. Results of 22 in-depth interviews explore how interns build their professional identity while having their first working experiences. We define and describe a list of motives and strategies the interns use to manage the impression that they cause to their superiors. The findings and implications of using the motives and strategies to manage their professional identity at work will be discussed in detail in the final version of this paper.

References:
[1] Baumeister, R. F. 1982. A self-presentational view of social phenomena. Psychological Bulletin, 91: 3–26.
[2] Beenen, G., & Pichler, S. 2014: Do I really want to work here? Testing a model of job pursuit for MBA interns. Human Resource Management, 53(5): 661–682.
[3] Beenen, G., & Rousseau, D. M. 2010: Getting the most from MBA internships: Promoting intern learning and job acceptance. Human Resource Management, 49 (1): 3– 22.
[4] Ibarra, H. 1999. Provisional selves: Experimenting with image and identity in professional adaptation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44: 764–791.
[5] Roberts, L. M. 2005. Changing faces: Professional image construction in diverse organizational settings. Academy of Management Review, 30: 685–711.
@InProceedings{KARAJA2018PRO,
author = {Karaja, R. and Martinez Del Rio, J.},
title = {PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY CREATION: HOW INTERNS BUILD THEIR IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1427},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1427},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6036-6042}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Karaja AU - J. Martinez Del Rio
TI - PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY CREATION: HOW INTERNS BUILD THEIR IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1427
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 6036
EP - 6042
ER -
R. Karaja, J. Martinez Del Rio (2018) PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY CREATION: HOW INTERNS BUILD THEIR IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 6036-6042.
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