Research Design & Methodology

在文檔中 實習經驗與日後接受雇用意圖之關聯性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 36-48)

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Chapter 3. Research Design & Methodology

Research Hypothesis

The purpose of this study is understand the relationship between task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy, learning to job acceptance intention for interns. The methodology used was a deductive form of logic wherein theories and hypotheses are tested in a cause-and-effect order. Concepts, variables, and hypotheses were chosen before the study began and remained fixed throughout the study. This study proposed 6 hypotheses.

Task Goal Clarity and Learning

When task goals are well-define, communicated and understood, the intern’s attention and effort are better focused on relevant activities and learning the skills the goal requires.

Beenen and Mrousseau (2010) state that to enable learning, the intern’s task goals should be well specified and communicated. If goals are clearly understood by interns, they would be inclined to gather information on how to complete the project or task and the set of deliverables needed. The effort that they exert tends to become the learning that they receive in the ned. Furthermore, vaguely defined roles cause stress to employees especially interns (Jackson & Schuler, 1985; Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964). Stress could reduce the intern’s capability to absorb new information and respond to task requirements and demands (Kanfer & Ackerman, 1989).

Therefore:

Hypothesis #1: Task goal clarity is positively related to the intern’s learning.

Mentorship and Learning

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the company to instill knowledge, culture and information to new employees such as interns.

Basically, Mentors share wisdom about the norms, values, and mores that are only bound to the organization (Gibson & Cordova, 1999), offer guidance, counseling, support, and protection to mentees (Kram, 1985), and provide constructive feedback and information to help the mentee complete his or her goals (Douglas, 1997). mentoring focuses on skill and competence development by offering challenging roles and assignments that help attain the mentees internship goals (Kram, 1985). These challenging roles could be the intern’s projects that could significantly affect the Mentors could bring positive effect to interns and this is necessary for counseling while at the same time pushes mentees to reach greater potential and greater achievement (Kram, 1985). Thus, mentors play a vital role in the learning of interns.

Therefore:

Hypotheses #2: Mentorship is positively related to the intern’s learning.

Task Goal Clarity, Mentorship and Learning

In regards to mentorship and learning goal theory, (Godshalk & Sosik, 2002) stated that mentor and intern learning goal orientation has a positive relationship with mentoring functions such as learning received by mentees. Mentors are the one responsible to communicate the task design and goal deliverables to the interns. If the mentors could communicate it clearly, then interns could fully understand the requirements and deliverables needed for the project. In turn, they could fully focus on these deliverables and learn the skillset needed to complete it. Mentors set and communicate these tasks which could affect the clarity and in turn affect the learning of the intern.

Therefore:

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Hypotheses #3: Mentorship mediates the relationship between task goal clarity and learning.

Autonomy, Task Goal Clarity and Learning

Autonomy is the freedom given to the intern in completing the task and goal during the internship. The freedom given could affect learning due to the fact that the boundaries set for the interns is what either pushes them to understand more or limits them to a certain amount. Autonomy can facilitate learning by strengthening individual commitment to task goals (Locke & Schweiger, 1979), improving motivation and task persistence (Sheldon et al., 2003), and offering opportunities to handle new task and responsibilities (Parker, 1998). The autonomy given by the mentor sets as the boundary to make interns fully explore their capabilities in finishing their task and goals during the internship program. The magnitude of autonomy should be adjusted to the understanding of the goals and task by the intern, since task goal clarity is the clearness of what tasks are needed to do then it could also affect the learning of the intern.

Therefore:

Hypotheses #4: Autonomy moderates the relationship of task goal clarity and learning.

Learning and Job Acceptance Intention

Interns who learn more from their internship programs are expected to be highly motivated to accept a job offer from their employer in contrast to those who learn less (Beenen & Mrousseau, 2010). Learning opportunities during internship programs show the potential for similar opportunities in future full-time positions after the internships. Interns

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Vandenberg, DeJoy, & Wilson, 2006). Furthermore, the main motive for students to have an internship is to see what the real corporate world is like, to learn what are the dos and don’ts and most importantly learn the right skillset needed for the job, the industry and the company.

These internship programs could serve as the first job of the interns and be the first source of real-job learning for them. If they learn more, they’ll see the value of working in the same company. Thus, companies who offer substantial learning opportunities would be more attractive for interns to accept a job offer.

Therefore:

Hypotheses #5: Learning is positively related to job acceptance Intention

Task Goal Clarity, Learning & Job Acceptance Intention

Task goal clarity is expected to help interns gain more learning experiences by fully understanding the task and goals. If interns focused their efforts on clear task goal activities such as coming up with a new product launch marketing project or a sales distribution network expansion project, interns could fully devote themselves into completing and excelling in these projects while at the same time help them learn and expand their professional skillset. When interns learn, they’re more motivated to accept a job offer since they see a bright future for them in the same company. Learning is thus expected to strengthen interns’ job acceptance intentions.

Therefore:

Hypotheses #6: Learning mediates the relationship between task goal and job acceptance intention.

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Research Design & Tool

This study sought to determine if learning had any significant impact to job acceptance intention. Furthermore, factors such as task goal clarity, mentorship and autonomy are also determined if there is any significant impact to job acceptance intention.

This study used questionnaire as its main research tool. The questionnaire contained three parts. The first part inquires about internship information of the interns. The second part was divided into five sections namely, task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy, learning and job acceptance intention. A total of 150 questionnaires were distributed to students who have had internship experiences. This quantitative research study used descriptive and correlations for the analysis of the degree of the relationship between the mentioned factors above to job acceptance intention.

Variable Definitions and Measurements of Variables

The variables of the study are divided into 5 big constructs namely task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy, learning and job acceptance intention. The definitions of the variables are shown below:

Task Goal Clarity

Definition: Task goal clarity in this research is the degree to which the intern understands his or her task’s expected output also in what terms of standards these outputs will be evaluated. When task goals are vague or unclear, uncertainty and stress are inclined to affect the interns’ ability to learn by making it difficult to identify, acquire, and perform proper activities to accomplish the task (Jackson & Schuler, 1985; Saks & Ashforth, 1997).

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Questions & Measurement: The questions and measurement for task goal clarity were adopted from the questionnaires developed by Beenen and Mroussea (2010) under task goal clarity. Respondents rate the items based on the degree of clarity of the tasks and goal given to them using a five-point Likert scale (1=” strongly disagree”; 5 = “strongly agree”). Sample items include: “I received a clear explanation of what I needed to accomplish in my internship.” The scale’s alpha reliability for task goal clarity in this study is 0.835. The questions used to measure task goal clarity and its references are shown in Table 2

Mentorship

Definition: Mentoring is defined as ‘‘a deliberate pairing of a more skilled or experienced person with a lesser skilled or experienced one, with the agreed-upon goal of having the lesser skilled person grow and develop specific competencies’’ based on Murray (1991, p. xiv). Mentors’ responsibilities include helping the students learn and complete their tasks and responsibilities. Thus, mentors should be very familiar with the designated tasks and responsibilities given to the intern.

Questions & Measurement: The questions and measurement for mentorship were adopted from the literatures reviewed in this study. Respondents rate the items based on the impact of their mentors to them using a five-point Likert scale (1=” strongly disagree”;5 =

“strongly agree”). Sample items include: “My mentor offered feedback to help me improve and attain my goal in the internship.” The scale’s alpha reliability for mentorship in this study is 0.874. The questions used to measure mentorship and its references are shown in Table 2

Autonomy

Definition: Autonomy is the freedom that interns have to complete assigned task goals (Hackman & Oldham, 1980). Autonomy can facilitate learning by strengthening

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individual commitment to task goals (Locke & Schweiger, 1979), improving motivation and task persistence (Sheldon et al., 2003), and offering opportunities to handle new task and responsibilities (Parker, 1998).

Questions & Measurement: The questions and measurement for autonomy were adopted from the questionnaires developed by Beenen and Mroussea (2010) under autonomy.

Respondents rate the items based on the degree of autonomy when completing tasks and goal given to them using a five-point Likert scale (1=” strongly disagree”; 5 = “strongly agree”).

Sample items include: “I have limited flexibility in how I do my task in the internship.” The scale’s alpha reliability for autonomy in this study is 0.728. The questions used to measure autonomy and its references are shown in Table 2

Learning

Definition: Learning in this study refers to the improved skills and knowledge developed by interns during the internship. Companies who offer task learning opportunities should be more attractive to interns.

Questions & Measurement: The questions and measurement for learning were adopted from the questionnaires developed by Beenen and Mroussea (2010) under learning.

Respondents rate the items based on the amount of learning they’ve absorb or improved during the internship using a five-point Likert scale (1=” strongly disagree”;5 = “strongly agree”). Sample items include: “I developed my analytical skills.” The scale’s alpha reliability for learning in this study is 0.789. The questions used to measure learning and its references are shown in Table 2

Job Acceptance Intention

Definition: Job acceptance intention in this research refers to the intern’s perception in his or her chances of accepting a full-time job offer with the internship employer. Interns who learn more from their internship programs are expected to be highly motivated to accept a job offer from their employer in contrast to those who learn less (Beenen & Mrousseau, 2010).

Questions & Measurement: The questions and measurement for job acceptance intention were adopted from the literature reviewed in this research (Beenen & Mrousseau, 2010, Cable & Judge, 1996). Respondents rate the items based on the willingness of accepting the job offer given to them by the employer using a five-point Likert scale (1=”

strongly disagree”;5 = “strongly agree”). Sample items include: “After completing my internship, I would want to work for the company I interned for.” The scale’s alpha reliability for job acceptance intention in this study is 0.901. The questions used to measure job acceptance intention and its references are shown in Table 2

Table 2

Questions and References for the Variables

Variables Questions Reference

Task Goal Clarity

1. I fully understood what my internship role was.

2. I fully understood which functions (e.g. finance department, marketing department and etc.) to support in my internship.

3. I fully understood what my daily task and routines were.

4. I was given clear objectives of what I needed to accomplish in my internship

5. I was given clear descriptions of work deliverables I needed to complete in my internship

6. I received a clear explanation of what I needed to accomplish in my internship.

7. I knew what the criteria would be for my performance evaluation.

Beenen &

Mrousseau, 2010

Mentorship 1. My mentor or line manager shared with me the values, norms and the culture of the company.

Gibson &

Cordova, 1999

2. My mentor or line manager assisted me in improving my skills in the internship

3. My mentor offered feedback to help me improve and attain my goal in the internship

4. My mentor offered useful resources for me to complete my task in the internship

5. My mentor or line manager and I had regular reviews of my goals and performance

6. My mentor or line manager offered counseling and friendship during the internship

7. My mentor or line manager fully understood my performance evaluation criteria

8. My mentor or line manager and I have similar personality and characteristics (e.g. both are extrovert)

9. My mentor or line manager had a positive affect in assisting me in my internship

10. My mentor or line manager and I have a healthy work-relationship

Kram, 1985 Douglas, 1997

Autonomy 1. I have limited flexibility in how I do my task in the internship 2. I have the freedom on how to plan and execute my task in the internship

3. I have a lot of flexibility in how I complete my task 4. I have the freedom to decide on how to do my work assignments

Beenen &

Mrousseau, 2010

Learning 1. I developed my analytical skills 2. I developed my research skills 3. I developed my interpersonal skills 4. I developed my oral communication skills

5. I learned how to think strategically about business problems 6. I improved my technical skills in my specialty area (e.g.

finance, marketing and etc.)

7. I developed and applied skills that I learned from school 8. I didn’t learn anything new during my internship

Beenen &

1. After completing my internship, I would want to work for the company I interned for

2. If given a job offer by the company I interned for, I would accept it

3. The company I interned for would be one of my choices for employment in the future

4. The company I interned for would be on my top priorities for employment in the future

5. After the internship, the company would NOT be my top choice for employment

6. I wouldn’t consider the company I interned for as my employment choice

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Statistical Methods

This study used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 to process the data. This study adopted statistical methods like reliability test, descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, regression analysis and cross table analysis to obtain the needed results. The adopted statistical methods will be further discussed below.

Reliability Test

Reliability test is used to test the consistency of a set of measurements or measuring instrument. The variables and questionnaire as a whole were tested for its reliability before undergoing further statistic analysis.

Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive Statistics is used for summarizing and describing the characteristics of the valid samples. They provide simple summaries about the sample and its measurements.

The information of the samples that underwent descriptive statistics includes the age, gender, internship duration, industry and education level.

Correlation Analysis

Correlation analysis measures the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two random variables. All the variables were tested and measured among one another in this research.

Regression Analysis

specific independent variables (cause). This study used regression analysis to find out whether the variables: task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy have effects towards learning and job acceptance intention. The first 3 were independent variables and the latter two are dependent variables.

Sample and Population

The target population of this study are focused on business students in Taiwan who’ve had internship experiences. All the students sampled in this study were from Taiwan, with the majority from national universities located in the northern region. Only full-time students were included in this study. The study sample was 120. 151 copies of the questionnaire have been distributed to students via email while 126 copies were retrieved. After cancelling out 6 invalid questionnaires, a total of 120 questionnaires were usable, producing a valid response rate of 79.4%. Backgrounds of these interns are spread across industries. Industries include financial sectors where almost one-fifth of the respondents in this study have experience in.

Followed by tech sector with 17.5% and fast moving consumer goods industry with 13.3%.

The detailed list is shown in the table 3

Table 3

Interns’ Employers Share of Industries Industries Percent

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Interns’ educational level was also vital to the study. Respondents were required to be at least a 3rd year university degree to be eligible for this study. Due to the researcher’s MBA background and connection, the majority of the population are students who are undertaking MBA or master-level studies.

Summary

The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between task goal clarity, mentorship, autonomy to learning and job acceptance intention. Participants of this study were university and master’s students whom have had internship experiences. They are all from Taiwan’s national universities and had internship programs across different industries.

Questionnaire was the tool used to gather response useful for this study. A series of analysis were made including validity test, correlation and regression analysis.

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Chapter 4. Results and Discussion

在文檔中 實習經驗與日後接受雇用意圖之關聯性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 36-48)