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

37 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2005 Last revised: 2 Jul 2014

See all articles by Tobias Schmidt

Tobias Schmidt

Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Center

Date Written: 2005

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.

Keywords: absorptive capacity, R&D, innovation management, innovation survey

JEL Classification: O30, L20, D83

Suggested Citation

Schmidt, Tobias, Absorptive Capacity - One Size Fits All? A Firm-Level Analysis of Absorptive Capacity for Different Kinds of Knowledge (2005). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 05-072. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=832904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.832904

Tobias Schmidt (Contact Author)

Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Center ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

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