Knowledge Exchange through Internship Process
Collaboration between universities and businesses includes a variety of challenges, and one of these is internship. Internship involves a two-way knowledge exchange process whereby knowledge moves from one organisation to another and feedback is given constantly.
Every organisation has knowledge, but the question is how we can share it, and how the leaders can manage knowledge. Successful internship means that all participants learn from the process and everyone will receive some new knowledge through sharing. This article analyses knowledge exchange during internship programmes from three perspectives: the interns and the university internship supervisors from fie Estonian universities, and the site supervisors from various institutions who provide internship. The data from site supervisors and interns was collected through an online questionnaire, while the universities supervisors were interviewed. The European Social Foundation supported the research through the Research and Innovation Policy Monitoring Programme. The survey was carried out in 2012–2014. The sample consisted of 418 interns, 194 institutions providing “> internship and 24 internship supervisors from universities. The data was analysed in SPSS 18.0, MS Excel 2013 and NVivo. The data has been discussed in the context of the related literature. This study shows that knowledge exchange takes place between a university supervisor and a student, less in contact with the site supervisor. In most cases, there is no collective knowledge exchange – organisations do not learn from internship.