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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title How firms’ participation in apprenticeship training fosters knowledge diffusion and innovation
Organization Unit
  • Christian Rupietta
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published electronically before print/final form (Epub ahead of print)
  • English
Journal Title Journal of Business Economics / Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft
Publisher Springer
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0044-2372
Page Range Epub ahead of print
Date 2019
Abstract Text Previous studies typically relate apprenticeship training or more generally ‘Vocational Education and Training’ (VET) to training that is highly specific and that uses well-established technologies. Accordingly, apprenticeship training is typically not expected to have positive effects on innovation. In contrast, we argue in this paper that the type of dual apprenticeship training seen in Switzerland (or Germany and Austria) does create positive innovation effects due to the VET system’s built-in and institutionalized curriculum development and updating processes. These processes ensure that firms participating in apprenticeship training gain access to knowledge that is close to the innovation frontier and that ultimately fosters innovation. We provide theoretical explanations of how this knowledge diffusion works and how it can help to generate innovation. We use the Swiss VET system as one example and derive hypotheses about the relationship between firms’ participation in apprenticeship training and their innovation outcomes. Empirical analyses support our hypotheses. In a VET system with a built-in curriculum-updating process like the one in Switzerland (or Germany), firms participating in apprenticeship training have higher innovation outcomes than do non-participating firms.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1007/s11573-018-0924-6
Other Identification Number merlin-id:17343
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