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Understanding absorptive capacities in an "innovation systems" context consequences for economic and employment growth

  • Rajneesh Narula

This paper seeks to broaden our understanding of the concept underlying absorptive capacity at the macro –level, paying particular attention to the growth and development perspectives. We provide definitions of absorptive and technological capacity, external technology flows, productivity growth, employment creation and their interrelations. We then analyse the elements of absorptive capability, focusing on the nature of the relationship within a systems view of an economy, focusing primarily on the role of firm and non-firm actors and the institutions that connect them, both within and across borders. We also undertake to explain how the nature of absorptive capacity changes with stages of economic development, and the importance of the different aspects of absorptive capability at different stages. The relationship is not a linear one: the benefits that accrue from marginal increases in absorptive capability change over time. Finally, we provide a tentative and preliminary conceptual argument of how the different stages of absorptive capacity are related to productivity growth, economic growth and employment creation.

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Paper provided by DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies in its series DRUID Working Papers with number 04-02.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:04-02
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