Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation
This paper examines the link between a firm's absorptive capacity-building activities and the search process for innovation. We propose that the enhanced access to university research enjoyed by firms that engage in basic research and collaborate with university scientists leads to superior search for new inventions and provides advantage in terms of both the timing and quality of search outcomes. Results based on a panel data of pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms support these contentions and suggest that the two research activities are mutually beneficial, but also uncover intriguing differences that suggest differing roles of internally and externally developed knowledge.
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