Guanxi social-network ties: Predicting graduate employment with internship host-organisations in China

Philip Rose


Globally internships are utilized to enhance the university learning experience and      improve graduate employment. The expanding application of internships in the graduate recruitment and selection process has traditionally received less attention in the literature, and whilst this trend has crossed national borders, the transferability of this practice has largely been assumed rather than empirically substantiated. Hence, this study investigates how a culturally specific form of social-networking, namely guanxi, impacts on employment outcomes from internships, for graduates within the Chinese context. This study involved the collection of longitudinal data at two time intervals from intern-supervisor dyads (N=303), in order to determine the role of guanxi in predicting the conversion of an intern into an employee with their internship host-organisation. These findings highlight the role of cultural context in shaping and potentially undermining desired graduate employment outcomes from Work-Integrated Learning initiatives such as internships.

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