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Absorptive Capacity – One Size Fits All? A Firm-level Analysis of Absorptive Capacity for Different Kinds of Knowledge

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  • Tobias Schmidt

    (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

The paper empirically analyses the effect of R&D activities, human resource and knowledge management, and the organisation of knowledge sharing within a firm on the absorptive capacity of innovative firms for three different types of knowledge, namely absorptive capacity to use knowledge from a firm’s own industry, knowledge from other industries and knowledge from research institutions. Using data from the German innovation survey we investigate how firms are able to exploit knowledge from external partners for successful innovation activities. The estimation results show that the determinants of absorptive capacity differ with respect to the type of knowledge absorbed for innovation activities. In particular we find that the R&D intensity does not significantly influence absorptive capacity for intra- and inter- industry knowledge. Additionally, our results suggest that absorptive capacity is path-dependent and firms can influence their ability to exploit external knowledge by encouraging individuals’ involvement in a firm’s innovation projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Schmidt, 2005. "Absorptive Capacity – One Size Fits All? A Firm-level Analysis of Absorptive Capacity for Different Kinds of Knowledge," Industrial Organization 0510010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0510010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    absorptive capacity; R&D; innovation management; innovation surveys;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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