The Relationship between Supervisor's Leadership Skills and Student Learning through Internship Experiences

Date
2016-11-09
Authors
Raj, Deepika
Ha-Brookshire, Jung
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Abstract

While U.S. News and World Report indicates that internships make big difference in employment success rates, not all internships help students' learning. There is also very little research that examines the relationship between the internship supervisor's leadership style and the knowledge creation during the internship. Organizational knowledge creation theory explains how organizational members create and acquire knowledge via socialization, externalization, internalization, and combination. An online survey, designed to measure knowledge creation, transformation and transactional leadership styles, was filled by 92 college students with internship experience. The results indicate that students learn via (a) socialization and internalization when their supervisors exhibit transformational leadership; (b) externalization and combination when their supervisors show transactional leadership. By understanding the leadership style of the supervisors, students could seek opportunities better suited to their learning styles. This research informs the industry of the impact of leadership styles, which could help in honing their future work force.

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