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Going global in small steps: e-internships in SMEs

Jeske, Debora; Axtell, Carolyn M.


Debora Jeske

Carolyn M. Axtell


Technological developments over the last thirty years increasingly shaped the means by which we recruit, select and appraise employees. Today, technology supports more flexible and geographically dispersed working modes: From teleworkers, to virtual workers, to e-interns (also known as virtual interns). The current article describes how developments in e-HRM and changes in employment forms contribute to the development and increasing popularity of e-internships (better known as virtual internships) amongst small and medium-sized enterprises. In this paper, we reflect on the rise of e-internships across different countries and relate this to e-HRM and technological advances. We explore the opportunities and challenges. These include developing effective global talent and knowledge management practices, managing diversity as well as intellectual and social capital. We furthermore link the employment of e-internship practices to strategic organizational goals and learning. In the final section, we also critically reflect on the high investment required for e-internships to succeed. The discussion on e-internships is set in the literature on e-HRM, virtual teams and knowledge management, which is furthermore supported by interviews conducted with e-interns or internship managers.
Keywords: e-internships, virtual internships, computer-mediated communication

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 5, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 9, 2016
Publication Date 2016-01
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2018
Journal Organizational Dynamics
Print ISSN 0090-2616
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 1
Pages 55-63
Keywords Employee recruitment; SMEs; e-internships; virtual internships; e-HRM;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Oct 7, 2015


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