Implementation of Dual Apprenticeship Structures in German Plants Abroad: Boundary Objects in Educational Transfer

Susanne Kopatz, Michael Gessler


The article at hand intends to learn about companies’ attempts to transfer educational concepts by means of a case study. The investigated cases come from the automotive industry and a comparative approach (USA, South Africa) is used here to focus on the implementation and development of dual apprenticeship structures. How do German manufacturers abroad, in this case a German MNC, build up cooperations within very different cultural enviroments? The theoretical approach is, coming from Engetröm’s activity theory, the concept of boundary objects with regard to boundary crossing. The results show the different approaches of both cases to build up dual training structures abroad successfully. In the discussion, boundary objects are being identified and assigned to three categories: path dependency, organizational learning and innovation.


Boundary Objects; Vocational Education and Training; Educational Transfer; Activity Theory, MNC; Mercedes-Benz

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