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Cross-border R&D alliances, absorptive capacity and technology learning


  • Kim, Chang-Su
  • Inkpen, Andrew C.


Drawing from research on alliance learning, we develop a model of technology learning by integrating technological capabilities and alliance knowledge in a framework of absorptive capacity. We also differentiate between absolute and relative components of absorptive capacity. Our study of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry found that technology learning was higher when firms were quick to adopt new technologies and when they have accumulated experience via alliances. Among alliances, cross-border R&D alliances have the strongest effect on technology learning. Overall, the findings show the pronounced effect of absolute absorptive capacity on technology learning.

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  • Kim, Chang-Su & Inkpen, Andrew C., 2005. "Cross-border R&D alliances, absorptive capacity and technology learning," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 313-329, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:11:y:2005:i:3:p:313-329

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Contractor, Farok J. & Woodley, James A., 2015. "How the alliance pie is split: Value appropriation by each partner in cross-border technology transfer alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 535-547.
    2. Christoffersen, Jeppe & Plenborg, Thomas & Robson, Matthew J., 2014. "Measures of strategic alliance performance, classified and assessed," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 479-489.
    3. Ebers, Mark & Maurer, Indre, 2014. "Connections count: How relational embeddedness and relational empowerment foster absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 318-332.
    4. Su, Hsin-Ning, 2017. "Collaborative and Legal Dynamics of International R&D- Evolving Patterns in East Asia," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 217-227.
    5. Kavusan, K., 2015. "Essays on capability development through alliances," Other publications TiSEM 8eb736a5-b217-4718-ac13-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Krammer, Sorin M.S., 2016. "The role of diversification profiles and dyadic characteristics in the formation of technological alliances: Differences between exploitation and exploration in a low-tech industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 517-532.
    7. Flatten, Tessa & Adams, Daniel & Brettel, Malte, 2015. "Fostering absorptive capacity through leadership: A cross-cultural analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-534.
    8. Latukha, M. & Veselova, A. & Selivanovskikh, L. & Artukh, E. & Mitskevich, E., 2016. "Re-thinking the role of talent management in a firm’s performance: Talent management practices and absorptive capacity," Working Papers 6442, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.
    9. Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia & Olander, Heidi & Blomqvist, Kirsimarja & Panfilii, Victoria, 2012. "Orchestrating R&D networks: Absorptive capacity, network stability, and innovation appropriability," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 552-563.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:541-:d:94915 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Garcia Martinez, Marian & Zouaghi, Ferdaous & Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes, 2017. "Capturing value from alliance portfolio diversity: The mediating role of R&D human capital in high and low tech industries," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 55-67.


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