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How firms’ participation in apprenticeship training fosters knowledge diffusion and innovation


Rupietta, Christian; Backes-Gellner, Uschi (2019). How firms’ participation in apprenticeship training fosters knowledge diffusion and innovation. Journal of Business Economics / Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 89(5):569-597.

Abstract

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.

Abstract

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.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 July 2019
Deposited On:13 Feb 2019 14:02
Last Modified:15 Jun 2019 01:02
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0044-2372
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11573-018-0924-6
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:17343

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