Pdf cohen and levinthal 1990 absorptive capacity a new. Absorptive capacity, the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends is critical to its innovative capabilities. Cohen and levinthal introduced the notion of absorptive capacity as the firms ability to value, assimilate, and apply new knowledge for improving organizational learning. Their combined citations are counted only for the first article. Moreover, cohen and levinthals works suggest that the ability of companies to absorb external knowhow could be. Managing potential and realized absorptive capacity repub.
This paper introduces the concept or theory of absorptive capacity ac which the authors define as the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends. In this paper we aim to study such learning under the lens of absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity is defined as the firms ability to recognize the value of new, external knowledge, assimilate it and apply it to commercial ends cohen and levinthal, 1990. Conceptually, it is similar to information processing theory, but at the firm level rather than the individual level. Put another way, absorptive capacity is a limit to the rate or quantity of scientific or technological information that a firm can absorb. For them, absorptive capacity depends greatly on prior related knowledge and diversity of background.
The original construct was introduced by cohen and levinthal in 1989. Solution knowledge is positively related to need absorptive capacity and positively related to solution absorptive capacity. A long time back two researcher, cohen and levinthal 1990 pioneered the concept of absorptive capacity, further defined as the ability of an organization to identify, value, assimilate, and apply new knowledge. Knowledge transfer in intraorganizational networks. Developing a firms absorptive capacity with mafiadoc. This work explores the concept of absorptive capacity focusing on a relation service providercustomer. However, it is not simply the sum of its members absorptive capacities.
Pdf from absorptive capacity to insemination capacity. Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation sciencedirect. The objective is to analyse the mechanisms used by the consulting firm to ease the start and development of a knowledge absorption sequence for. Absorptive capacity, as defined by cohen and levinthal, 1989, cohen and levinthal, 1990, cohen and levinthal, 1994, is a firms ability to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends 1990, p. Cohen and levinthal 1989,1990 assigned the term absorptive capacity to the general capability of individuals, groups, and firms to recognize the value of new information, choose what to adopt, and apply it to innovation. Our results indicate that the relationship between absorptive capacity and new product development performance is nonlinear. Cohen and levinthal define absorptive capacity as the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends 9, p.
This effect, however, depends on units absorptive capacity, or ability to successfully replicate new knowledge. Organizational learning and absorptive capacity in managing. Nov 27, 2009 nineteen years after the cohen and levinthal 1990 paper, the field is characterized by a wide array of theoretical perspectives and a wealth of empirical evidence. The purpose of this perspective paper is to advance understanding of absorptive capacity, its underlying dimensions, its multilevel antecedents, its impact on firm performance and the contextual factors that affect absorptive capacity. The differential relationship between absorptive capacity and. Essential to the concept of absorptive capacity is the. Absorptive capacity and postacquisition inventor productivity. To our knowledge, they never have been connected to each other in a systematic way although it is straightforward that firms absorptive capacity, as it has been defined by cohen and levinthal 1990, determines their. Thus, absorptive capacity is the mechanism that makes external knowledge available to. Absorptive capacity, innovation, metaanalysis, firm size, firm age. Since their 1990 publication, the concept has been further developed and given rise to many thousands of published papers around this. They believe that absorptive capacity is the ability of companies to identify and digest new external knowledge and ultimately commercialize it 1. Introduction absorptive capacity acap is defined as one of the firms key learning processes with regard to identifying, assimilating, and exploiting knowledge from the environment cohen and levinthal, 1989. The binding element that links information management tools and absorptive capacity in the organization is the forecasting capacity, a concept used in the very definition of absorptive capacity proposed by cohen and levinthal in 1994, though little emphasized in the literature.
The firms absorptive capacity enables not only to exploit new external knowledge but also. Article information, pdf download for absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product. The concept of absorptive capacity was first defined as a firms ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends by cohen and levinthal. Second, an organizations absorptive capacity depends on the absorptive capacities of its individual members. Absorptive capacity, innovation, and financial performance.
Zahra and george 2002 suggested a reconceptualization of the absorptive capacity construct in order to reduce ambiguity in empirical studies. We suggest the reintroduction of the original first component of absorptive capacity, recognizing the value, as a step before acquisition. Absorptive capacity is regarded as an important factor in both corporate innovation and general competitive advantage. Specifically, despite the fact that cohen and levinthal 1989, 1990 propose a theoretical framework where absorptive capacity leads to innovative capabilities, and some studies in the literature attempt to explore the relationship between absorptive capacity and product innovativeness stock et al. This paper examines the link between a firms absorptive capacity building activities and the search process for innovation. Nov 30, 2017 drawing on a network perspective on organizational learning, i argue that organizational units can produce more innovations and enjoy better performance if they occupy central network positions that provide access to new knowledge developed by other units. Since the publication of cohen and levinthals 1989 work on absorptive capacity, numerous theoretical and empirical studies have analysed firms capacity to absorb knowledge. Then whatever conditions the firms incentives to learn i. 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. Jul 14, 2014 since the cohen and levinthal article on absorptive capacity was published, the ability to recognize the value of new information, to assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends p. In discussing their definition of absorptive capacity, cohen and levinthal.
Levinthal university of pennsylvania in this paper, we argue that the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends is critical to its innovative. Absorptive capacity was introduced by cohen and levinthal in 1990. Cohen and levinthal 1990 absorptive capacity a new perspective on learning and innovation administrative science quarterly volume 35 issue 1 pg 128 152. Since the pioneering work of cohen and levinthal, 1989, cohen and levinthal, 1990, an emerging body of literature is studying the importance of a firms ability to acquire, assimilate, and generate commercializable outputs from new external knowledge. However, the way absorptive capacity is actually implemented in firms remains relatively poorly known. A new perspective on learning and innovation, asq, 35 1990, 128152. Knowledge spillovers and absorptive capacityinstitutional. Absorptive capacity, knowledge management and innovation. Absorptive capacity and organizational learning springerlink. Open innovation and absorptive capacity are two popular concepts in contemporary innovation management literature. Introduction absorptive capacity is defined as the ability to recognize the value of new external knowledge, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends cohen and levinthal, 1990. The notion of absorptive capacity refers to the capacity of a recipient to assimilate value and use the knowledge transferred. Nineteen years after the cohen and levinthal 1990 paper, the field is.
Antecedents, models and outcomes, erim report series research in management ers2003035str, erasmus research institute of management erim, erim is the joint research institute of the rotterdam school of management, erasmus university and the erasmus school of economics ese at erasmus university rotterdam. A rereading of the seminal cohen and levinthal 1990 article in light of current research on learning and innovation directs our attention to serious ambiguities and omissions in zahra and georges reconceptualization. We label this capability a firms absorptive capacity and suggest that it is largely a function of the firms level. A new perspective on learning and innovation wesley m. A new perspective on learning and innovation article pdf available in administrative science quarterly 35. Download this zew discussion paper from our ftp server. Cohen and levinthal 1990 define absorptive capac ity as the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to. View absorptive capacity research papers on academia. The organizational and geographic drivers of absorptive. The investments a firm makes into its research and. Article pdf available august 2006 with 1,689 reads. While cohen and levinthal 1990 proposed recognizing the value of new external knowledge, zahra and george 2002 use the term acquisition of new external knowledge. Absorptive capacity, as defined by cohen and levinthal, 1989, cohen and.1574 321 1479 595 537 1040 1133 1384 310 586 1010 1072 1610 1653 1501 1168 577 1364 584 1621 1366 438 185 824 163 1503 608 1643 662 737 799 262 178 1400 1031 780 750 601 1173 908 516 1342 970 1104 31