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Knowledge absorptive capacity: New insights for its conceptualization and measurement

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  • Camisón, César
  • Forés, Beatriz
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    Abstract

    The processes for absorbing external knowledge become an essential element for innovation in firms and in adapting to changes in the competitive environment. Despite the huge growth in the absorptive capacity literature, a methodological gap still remains about a certain ambiguity in the definition of the construct specifying its theoretical domain and dimensionalization, and a lack of validation of the construct in most studies. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the literature on absorptive capacity through the creation and validation of two scales, justified with a thorough analysis of the literature, to measure the key components of the absorptive capacity construct: potential and realized absorptive capacities. The study includes confirmatory factor analysis on a sample of 952 Spanish firms to verify that the scales meet the psychometric properties the literature requires. The study results confirm the validity of the proposed scales and support their consolidation as a commonly used instrument with which to measure absorptive capacity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 63 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 707-715

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:63:y:2010:i:7:p:707-715

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres

    Related research

    Keywords: Absorptive capacity Knowledge management Dynamic competences Multi-item measurement scales Structural equation modeling;

    References

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    1. Fosfuri, Andrea & Tribø, Josep A., 2008. "Exploring the antecedents of potential absorptive capacity and its impact on innovation performance," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 173-187, April.
    2. van den Bosch, F.A.J. & van Wijk, R.A.J.L. & Volberda, H.W., 2003. "Absorptive Capacity: Antecedents, Models and Outcomes," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2003-035-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. Hooley, Graham J. & Greenley, Gordon E. & Cadogan, John W. & Fahy, John, 2005. "The performance impact of marketing resources," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 18-27, January.
    4. Jansen, J.J.P. & van den Bosch, F.A.J. & Volberda, H.W., 2005. "Managing Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity: How do Organizational Antecedents matter?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-025-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    5. Zhang, Jing & Baden-Fuller, Charles & Mangematin, Vincent, 2007. "Technological knowledge base, R&D organization structure and alliance formation: Evidence from the biopharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 515-528, May.
    6. Anker Lund Vinding, 2006. "Absorptive capacity and innovative performance: A human capital approach," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 507-517.
    7. Arbussa, Anna & Coenders, Germa, 2007. "Innovation activities, use of appropriation instruments and absorptive capacity: Evidence from Spanish firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1545-1558, December.
    8. Mowery, David C & Oxley, Joanne E, 1995. "Inward Technology Transfer and Competitiveness: The Role of National Innovation Systems," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 67-93, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Schleimer, Stephanie C. & Coote, Leonard V. & Riege, Andreas, 2014. "Headquarters to subsidiary transfer effects on marketing strategy exploitation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 307-315.
    2. Le, Son A. & Park, Jung Chul & Kroll, Mark, 2014. "Differential effects of pre- and post-acquisition R&D expenditures on post-acquisition performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 92-99.
    3. García-Morales, Víctor J. & Bolívar-Ramos, María Teresa & Martín-Rojas, Rodrigo, 2014. "Technological variables and absorptive capacity's influence on performance through corporate entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1468-1477.
    4. Hammady Ahmed DINE RABEH, 2013. "Firm Resources’ Entanglement Determines ITS Absorptive Capacity: A Review Towards A New Reconceptualization," Working Papers 270, Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation.

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