The development of knowledge absorption capacity from environmental uncertainty

Carlos Ricardo Rossetto, Carlos Eduardo Carvalho, Gustavo Behling, Fernando Cesar Lenzi


Objective: Understand the process of knowledge absorption (ACAP) from the dimensions of PACAP and RACAP in a large company in the furniture sector.

Methodology / approach: This research used a qualitative, descriptive approach through a single case study. Data were collected in documents and through semi-structured interviews. The analysis was developed using the content analysis technique with the support of Atlas / TI software.

Originality / Relevance:  In the extant literature on absorptive capacity, few studies understand the influence of the external environment subject to environmental uncertainty for constructing organizational routines of PACAP and RACAP.

Main results: The company Rudnick developed routines to monitor and acquire information from the external environment, combining previous knowledge and experiences to assimilate it internally and competence to transform learning by disseminating with existing knowledge from employees, social integration mechanisms, organizational memory, and inter and intra-organizational interaction.

Theoretical /managerial contributions: This research contributed to the study of absorptive capacity under a multidimensional nature, from environmental uncertainties, and added a qualitative, longitudinal approach to identify the different knowledge absorption routines in PACAP and RACAP.

Social contributions for management: In the empirical field, the results will contribute to managers` understanding of the importance of developing routines to absorb knowledge and survive in an environment of uncertainty. It will also help managers reflect on what and how to implement their companies' practices to increase competitiveness. As for social contributions, it strengthens scientific research and optimizes industrial sectors' technological capabilities, particularly in developing countries.


Absorptive capacity; Environmental uncertainty; Furniture sector; Knowledge; Routines.


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