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Absorptive Capacity: One Size Fits All? Firm-level Analysis of Absorptive Capacity for Different Kinds of Knowledge

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  • Schmidt, Tobias

Abstract

The paper empirically analyses the effect of R&D activities, human resource and knowledge management, and the organisation of knowledge sharing within a firm on the absorptive capacity of innovative firms for three different types of knowledge, namely absorptive capacity to use knowledge from a firm?s own industry, knowledge from other industries and knowledge from research institutions. Using data from the German innovation survey we investigate how firms are able to exploit knowledge from external partners for successful innovation activities. The estimation results show that the determinants of absorptive capacity differ with respect to the type of knowledge absorbed for innovation activities. In particular we find that the R&D intensity does not significantly influence absorptive capacity for intra- and inter-industry knowledge. Additionally, our results suggest that absorptive capacity is path-dependent and firms can influence their ability to exploit external knowledge by encouraging individuals? involvement in a firm?s innovation projects. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 05-72.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:4555

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Keywords: absorptive capacity; R&D; innovation management; innovation survey;

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  1. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis & McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives theoretical and computational results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 85-134.
  2. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J. Peter, 2007. "Absorptive capacity, R&D spillovers, and public policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1089-1108, October.
  3. Belderbos, Rene & Carree, Martin A & Diederen, Bert & Lokshin, Boris & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2003. "Heterogeneity in R&D Cooperation Strategies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Wolfgang Sofka & Tobias Schmidt, 2005. "I Like the Way you Move - An Empirical Investigation into the Mechanisms Behind First Mover and Follower Strategies," Industrial Organization 0506010, EconWPA.
  5. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 1997. "Internal R & D expenditures and external technology sourcing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 303-315, October.
  8. Grunfeld, Leo A., 2003. "Meet me halfway but don't rush: absorptive capacity and strategic R&D investment revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1091-1109, October.
  9. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123.
  10. Cantner, Uwe & Pyka, Andreas, 1998. "Absorbing Technological Spillovers: Simulations in an Evolutionary Framework," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 369-97, June.
  11. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  12. Wolfgang Becker & Juergen Peters, 2000. "Technological Opportunities, Absorptive Capacities, and Innovation," Discussion Paper Series 195, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
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