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Intern to employee conversion via person–organization fit

Philip S. Rose (Linton School of Global Business, Hannam University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea )
Stephen T.T. Teo (School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Diep Nguyen (School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Nguyen Phong Nguyen (International School of Business, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 10 May 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021




Internships are utilized globally to recruit graduate employees. However, there is a limited understanding of the process by which interns convert into regular employees, particularly in non-Western research contexts. Integrating attraction–selection–attrition (ASA) theory and proactive career behaviors, this study identifies the mechanisms influencing interns' intentions to convert into regular employment in host organizations in Vietnam.


Time lagged, questionnaire data were collected from 669 final-year undergraduate business and economics students who participated in internship programs in a large metropolitan city in Vietnam.


The results indicate that the interns who exhibit proactive career behaviors are more likely to foster high-quality reciprocal relationships with their supervisors and work colleagues during internships. These positive relations magnify interns' intentions to become regular employees via their perceived person–organization fit.

Practical implications

This study has implications for higher education institutions and host organizations when designing internship programs to maximize employment outcomes via conversion of interns into regular employees.


Previous studies have not tested the critical aspect of ASA theory regarding the personalities of the interns when building work-related relationships that result in the person–organization fit before accepting job offers from host organizations.



Rose, P.S., Teo, S.T.T., Nguyen, D. and Nguyen, N.P. (2021), "Intern to employee conversion via person–organization fit", Education + Training, Vol. 63 No. 5, pp. 793-807.



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