Knowledge absorptive capacity: New insights for its conceptualization and measurement
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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