Next Article in Journal
Multi-Objective Optimization for Smart House Applied Real Time Pricing Systems
Next Article in Special Issue
Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China
Previous Article in Journal
The Socio-Ecological Factors that Influence the Adoption of Green Infrastructure
Previous Article in Special Issue
Does Firms’ Innovation Promote Export Growth Sustainably?—Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1279;

Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters

School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China
Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 550 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA
School of Culture and Communication & Cultural Economics Research Institute, Central University of Finance and Economics, 39 South College Road, Beijing 100081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hongbo Liu, Sizhong Sun and Iain Gordon
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
Full-Text   |   PDF [997 KB, uploaded 7 December 2016]   |  


Knowledge learning and diffusion have long been discussed in the literature on the dynamics of industrial clusters, but recent literature provides little evidence for how different actors serve as knowledge brokers in the upgrading process of apprentice-based clusters, and does not dynamically consider how to preserve the sustainability of these clusters. This paper uses empirical evidence from an antique furniture manufacturing cluster in Xianyou, Fujian Province, in southeastern China, to examine the growth trajectory of the knowledge learning system of an antique furniture manufacturing cluster. It appears that the apprentice-based learning system is crucial during early stages of the cluster evolution, but later becomes complemented and relatively substituted by the role of both local governments and focal outsiders. This finding addresses the context of economic transformation and provides empirical insights into knowledge acquisition in apprentice-based clusters to question the rationality based on European and North American cases, and to provide a broader perspective for policy makers to trigger and sustain the development of apprentice-based clusters. View Full-Text
Keywords: local learning; knowledge brokers; apprentice-based clusters; antique furniture manufacturing; China local learning; knowledge brokers; apprentice-based clusters; antique furniture manufacturing; China

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhu, H.; Chen, K.W.; Dai, J. Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1279.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top