What is absorptive capacity? The definition and an explanation

Absorptive capacity: Definition and explanation


Absorptive capacity

What is absorptive capacity?

Absorptive capacity is an organisation’s ability to identify, assimilate, transform, and use external knowledge, research and practice. In other words, absorptive capacity is the measure of the rate at which an organisation can learn and use scientific, technological or other knowledge that exists outside of the organisation itself. It is a measure of an organisations ability to learn.

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Cohen and Levinthal (1990), “Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Volume 35, Issue 1 pg. 128-152.

Naqshbandi, MM, Kamel, Y, (2017) Intervening role of realized absorptive capacity in organizational culture–open innovation relationship: Evidence from an emerging market. Journal of General Management 2017, Vol. 42(3) 5–20


What increases innovation capability and general performance in organisations: New research


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