Absorptive capacity, innovation cooperation and human-capital. Evidence from 3 European countries
The paper aims at extending the analysis of the firm’s absorptive capacity (AC) by taking stock of its manifold nature. Innovation cooperation is recognised as one of its antecedents, along with R&D, but with different possible outcomes, depending on the kind of partner. Human capital is claimed to be as important as other organisational mechanisms for the AC impact on innovation. The empirical application, carried out on about 10,500 firms located in 3 EU countries (i.e. Germany, Italy and Spain), confirms the role of these factors. Interacting with research organisations, for example, increases the firm’s AC providing it occurs within the national boundaries. The transformation of AC into actual innovation is favoured by the human capital of the firm, while it is actually hampered by socialisation mechanisms of an organisational nature.
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