What attracts and retains knowledge workers/students: The quality of place or career opportunities?

Darchen, Sebastien and Tremblay, Diane-Gabrielle (2010) What attracts and retains knowledge workers/students: The quality of place or career opportunities?. Cities, 27 4: 225-233. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2009.12.009

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Author Darchen, Sebastien
Tremblay, Diane-Gabrielle
Title What attracts and retains knowledge workers/students: The quality of place or career opportunities?
Journal name Cities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0264-2751
Publication date 2010-08-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cities.2009.12.009
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Start page 225
End page 233
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 3303 Development
3312 Sociology and Political Science
3322 Urban Studies
1409 Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
Abstract The creative class thesis of economic development has been influential in analyzing the mobility of human capital. The thesis has also had a major influence on the orientation of policies in North American cities regarding urban development aspects. Our aim is not to test this thesis of economic development as a whole but rather to use its quality of place criteria to evaluate how students enrolled in science and technology university programs decide where to live upon graduation. Using quantitative and qualitative material, this paper examines the influence of criteria related to quality of place and also to career opportunities concerning the mobility of students in science and technology who will soon be part of the professional category of the knowledge workers. Our hypothesis is that knowledge workers would be much more attracted by urban environments having more potential in terms of creativity, corresponding to the criterion emphasised in the creative class thesis. However, our results suggest that the quality of place is not as important as career opportunities. This does not lead us to refute the relevance of the creative class thesis but to nuance the relevance of various factors of location. It appears that the two cities in our study achieve different results on only one major point: the quality of life of Ottawa is a more powerful criterion of attraction/retention than in Montreal.
Keyword Attraction/retention
Economic development
Creative class
Quality of place
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 41 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 21:57:24 EST by Helen Smith on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management