Prospects for Developing Absorptive Capacity Through Internal Information Provision

Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 331-345

Posted: 7 Oct 2010

See all articles by Andrew A. King

Andrew A. King

Questrom School of Business- Boston University

Michael Lenox

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Theories of absorptive capacity propose that knowledge gained from prior experience facilitates the identification, selection, and implementation of related profitable practices. Researchers have investigated how managers may develop absorptive capacity by building internal knowledge stocks, but few have focused on the distribution of this knowledge within the firm and the role managers play in administering information to organizational subunits. In this paper, we explore the degree to which managers can develop absorptive capacity by directly providing information to agents in the organization that might potentially adopt a new practice. We find that the effectiveness of managerial information provision depends on the degree to which potential adopters have information from other sources. We find that information from previous adopters and past events reduces the effect of information provision, while experience with related practices amplifies it. Our research helps clarify when absorptive capacity may provide a sustained competitive advantage.

Keywords: absorptive capacity, information provision, diffusion

Suggested Citation

King, Andrew A. and Lenox, Michael, Prospects for Developing Absorptive Capacity Through Internal Information Provision (2004). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 331-345, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1687955

Andrew A. King

Questrom School of Business- Boston University ( email )

Boston, MA 02215
United States

Michael Lenox (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.darden.virginia.edu/LenoxM/index.htm

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