The evolution of absorptive capacity in the scientific literature: a bibliometric analysis focused on innovation

Tainá Alves Townsend, Cristiane Drebes Pedron, Marcos Rogério Mazzieri

Abstract


Objective of the study: This study aims to analyze scientific production about absorptive capacity and innovation in such a way as to make it possible to identify study trends and the theoretical bases on which they are based.

Methodology / Approach: We performed bibliographic coupling, co-citation, and social network analysis on a sample of 3,698 articles, considering 2,778 articles from Web of Science and 920 articles from Scopus.

Originality / Relevance: In a preliminary search, only two bibliometric works were identified that focused on absorptive capacity and innovation. However, since 2015, more than 1,500 articles have been published, with new perspectives, advancing studies on this topic.

Main results: The coupling analysis resulted in six factors showing the trends of future studies. The co-citation analysis presented three factors, representing the intellectual structure arising from the coupling analysis. The network analysis provided insight into how these studies connect. The results point to trends in future studies that can fill the research gaps on absorptive capacity and innovation. In addition, we also indicate the theoretical fronts that can be used to explore these trends. Finally, we present a model that summarizes our findings and shows how they can contribute to the advancement of research based on the seminal model of Zahra and George (2002).

Theoretical / Methodological contributions: We present a mapping of the theme that provides a clearer view of which seminal works are used to approach each theme to be explored in future studies, associating the results of the bibliometric techniques used.


Keywords


Absorptive capacity. Innovation. Bibliometrics. Co-citation analysis. Coupling bibliographic.

References


Agarwal, J., & Wu, T. (2015). Factors Influencing Growth Potential of E-Commerce in Emerging Economies: An Institution-Based N-OLI Framework and Research Propositions. Thunderbird International Business Review, 57(3), 197–215. https://doi.org/10.1002/tie.21694

Ahlin, B., Drnovšek, M., & Hisrich, R. D. (2014). Exploring the moderating effects of absorptive capacity on the relationship between social networks and innovation. Journal of East European Management Studies, 19(2), 213–235. https://doi.org/10.1688/JEEMS-2014-02-Ahlin

Argote, L., & Ingram, P. (2000). Knowledge transfer: A basis for competitive advantage in firms. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 82(1), 150-169.

Albort-Morant, G., Leal-Rodríguez, A. L., & De Marchi, V. (2018). Absorptive capacity and relationship learning mechanisms as complementary drivers of green innovation performance. Journal of Knowledge Management, 22(2), 432–452. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-07-2017-0310

Blind, K., & Mangelsdorf, A. (2016). Motives to standardize: Empirical evidence from Germany. Technovation, 48–49, 13–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2016.01.001

Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Harvard University Press.

Chalmers, D. M., & Balan-Vnuk, E. (2013). Innovating not-for-profit social ventures: Exploring the microfoundations of internal and external absorptive capacity routines. International Small Business Journal, 31(7), 785-810.

Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Harvard Business Press.

Chuang, Y. S., & Hobday, M. (2013). Technological upgrading in Taiwan's TFT-LCD industry: Signs of a deeper absorptive capacity? Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 25(9), 1045–1066. https://doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2013.832748

Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive Capacity : A New Perspective on and Innovation Learning. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128–152.

Cozza, C., & Zanfei, A. (2016). Firm heterogeneity, absorptive capacity and technical linkages with external parties in Italy. Journal of Technology Transfer, 41(4), 872–890. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-015-9404-0

Cui, A. S. (2013). Portfolio dynamics and alliance termination: The contingent role of resource dissimilarity. Journal of Marketing, 77(3), 15–32. https://doi.org/10.1509/jm.11.0164

Datta, A. (2016). Antecedents to radical innovations: a longitudinal look at firms in the information technology industry by aggregation of patents. International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(7), 1–31. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1363919616500687

Díez-Vial, I., & Fernández-Olmos, M. (2015). Knowledge spillovers in science and technology parks: how can firms benefit most? Journal of Technology Transfer, 40(1), 70–84. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-013-9329-4

Dominguez Gonzalez, R. V. D., Martins, M. F., & Toledo, J. C. (2014). Managing knowledge in a service provider: A network structure-based model. Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(3), 611–630. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-12-2013-0502

Dong, J. Q., & Yang, C. H. (2016). Being central is a double-edged sword: Knowledge network centrality and new product development in U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 113, 379–385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.07.011

Doyle, E., McGovern, D., & McCarthy, S. (2014). Compliance–innovation: integrating quality and compliance knowledge and practice. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 25(9-10), 1156-1170.

Ebers, M., & Maurer, I. (2014). Connections count: How relational embeddedness and relational empowerment foster absorptive capacity. Research Policy, 43(2), 318–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2013.10.017

Fernandez Pérez, V., & Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, L. (2013). External managerial networks, strategic flexibility and organisational learning: A comparative study among non-QM, ISO and TQM firms. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 24(3–4), 243–258. https://doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2012.669558

Garavan, T., Shanahan, V., Carbery, R., & Watson, S. (2016). Strategic human resource development: Towards a conceptual framework to understand its contribution to dynamic capabilities. Human Resource Development International, 19(4), 289–306. https://doi.org/10.1080/13678868.2016.1169765

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American journal of sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

Gressgård, L. J., Amundsen, O., Aasen, T. M., & Hansen, K. (2014). Use of information and communication technology to support employee-driven innovation in organizations: A knowledge management perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(4), 633–650. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-01-2014-0013

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2009). Análise multivariada de dados.

Hall, B. H., Jaffe, A., & Trajtenberg, M. (2005). Market value and patent citations. Rand Journal of Economics, 16–38.

Hao, B., & Feng, Y. (2016). How networks influence radical innovation: the effects of heterogeneity of network ties and crowding out. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 31(6), 758–770. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-09-2012-0165

Hu, M. C., & Hung, S. C. (2014). Taiwan's pharmaceuticals: A failure of the sectoral system of innovation? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 88, 162–176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2014.06.021

Huang, H. C., Lai, M. C., Kao, M. C., & Sung, C. H. (2014). A team-learning framework for business model innovation in an emerging market. Journal of Management and Organization, 20(1), 100–120. https://doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2014.20

Ibarra, H. (1993). Network centrality, power, and innovation involvement: Determinants of technical and administrative roles. Academy of Management journal, 36(3), 471-501.

Inkpen, A. C., & Tsang, E. W. K. (2005). Social capital networks, and knowledge transfer. Academy of Management Review, 30(1), 146–165. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMR.2005.15281445

Jansen, J. J. P., Van Den Bosch, F. A. J., & Volberda, H. W. (2005). Managing potential and realized absorptive capacity: How do organizational antecedents matter? Academy of Management Journal, 48(6), 999–1015. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMJ.2005.19573106

Karamanos, A. G. (2016). Effects of a firm's and their partners' alliance ego-network structure on its innovation output in an era of ferment. R and D Management, 46, 261–276. https://doi.org/10.1111/radm.12163

Katila, R., & Gautam, A. (2002). Something Old, Something New: A Longitudinal Study of Search Behavior and New Product Introduction. The Academy of Management Annals, 45(6), 1183–1194.

Kaur, V., & Mehta, V. (2016). Leveraging Knowledge Processes for Building Higher-Order Dynamic Capabilities An Empirical Evidence from It Sector in India . JIMS8M: The Journal of Indian Management & Strategy, 21(3), 37. https://doi.org/10.5958/0973-9343.2016.00023.5

Lane, P. J., Koka, B. R., & Pathak, S. (2006). The reification of absorptive capacity: A critical review and rejuvenation of the construct. Academy of management review, 31(4), 833-863.

Lee, M. C. (2016). Knowledge management and innovation management: Best practices in knowledge sharing and knowledge value chain. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 19(2), 206–226. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJIL.2016.074475

Leonard-Barton, D. (1992). Core capabilities and core rigities: a paradox in managing new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 111–125. https://doi.org/10.2307/2486355

Levine, S. S., & Kurzban, R. (2006). Explaining clustering in social networks: Towards an

evolutionary theory of cascading benefits. Managerial and Decision Economics, 27(2‐3), 173-187.

Levinthal, D. A., & March, J. G. (1993). The myopia of learning. Strategic management journal, 14(S2), 95-112.

Lewin, A. Y., Massini, S., & Peeters, C. (2011). Microfoundations of internal and external absorptive capacity routines. Organization Science, 22(1), 81–98. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0525

Limaj, E., & Bernroider, E. W. N. (2017). The roles of absorptive capacity and cultural balance for exploratory and exploitative innovation in SMEs. Journal of Business Research, (September 2016), 0–1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.10.052

Lin, C., & Chang, C. C. (2015a). A patent-based study of the relationships among technological portfolio, ambidextrous innovation, and firm performance. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 27(10), 1193–1211. https://doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2015.1061119

Lin, C., & Chang, C. C. (2015b). The effect of technological diversification on organizational performance: An empirical study of S&P 500 manufacturing firms. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 90(PB), 575–586. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2014.02.014

Liu, C., & Gui, Q. (2016). Mapping intellectual structures and dynamics of transport geography research: a scientometric overview from 1982 to 2014. Scientometrics, 109(1), 159–184. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-2045-8

Lucena, A. (2016). The interaction mode and geographic scope of firms' technology alliances: implications of balancing exploration and exploitation in R&D. Industry and Innovation, 23(7), 595–624. https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2016.1201648

Martinez-Torres, R., & Olmedilla, M. (2016). Identification of innovation solvers in open innovation communities using swarm intelligence. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 109, 15–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.05.007

Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. Academy of management review, 23(2), 242-266.

Nelson, R. R.; Winter, S. G. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. harvard university press.

Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford university press.

Ojo, A. O., & Raman, M. (2016). Antecedents of local personnel absorptive capacity in joint project engineering teams in Nigeria. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 12(2), 38–53. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJKM.2016040103

Okubo, Y. (1997). Bibliometric Indicators and Analysis of Research Systems: Methods and Examples. OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, 1(1997/01). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1787/208277770603

Pilav-Velić, A., & Marjanovic, O. (2016). Integrating open innovation and business process innovation: Insights from a large-scale study on a transition economy. Information and Management, 53(3), 398–408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2015.12.004

Quevedo-Silva, F., Santos, E. B., Brandão, M. M., & Vils, L. (2016). Estudo Bibliométrico: Orientações sobre sua Aplicação. Revista Brasileira de Marketing, 15(02), 246–262. https://doi.org/10.5585/remark.v15i2.3274

Ratten, V. (2016). Sport innovation management: towards a research agenda. Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 18(3), 238–250. https://doi.org/10.1080/14479338.2016.1244471

Raymond, L., Bergeron, F., Croteau, A.-M., & St-Pierre, J. (2016). IT-enabled Knowledge Management for the Competitive Performance of Manufacturing SMEs: An Absorptive Capacity-based View. Knowledge and Process Management, 23(2), 110–123. https://doi.org/10.1002/kpm.1503

Reagans, R., & McEvily, B. (2003). Network structure and knowledge transfer: The effects of cohesion and range. Administrative science quarterly, 48(2), 240-267.

Rosenkopf, L., & Nerkar, A. (2001). Beyond local search: boundary‐spanning, exploration, and impact in the optical disk industry. Strategic management journal, 22(4), 287-306.

Rossetto, D. E., Carvalho, F. C. A. de, Bernardes, R. C., & Borini, F. M. (2017). Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: An Overview of International Scientific Production of Last Twenty-Five Years. International Journal of Innovation, 5(1), 97–113.

Schweisfurth, T. G., & Raasch, C. (2018). Absorptive capacity for need knowledge: Antecedents and effects for employee innovativeness. Research Policy, (January). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.01.017

Seguí-Mas, E., Signes-Pérez, E., Sarrión-Viñes, F., & Alegre Vidal, J. (2016). Bibliometric analysis of the international literature on open innovation and absorptive capacity. Intangible Capital, 12(1), 51-72. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/ic.685

Serra, R. A. F., Cirani, C. B. S., & Moutinho, J. A. (2019). “Dicas” e Orientações para Complemento do Procedimento sobre Estudos Bibliométricos de Co-Citação e Paremento Bibliográfico. Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management, 18(3), 1–8.

Serra, R. A. F., Ferreira, M. P., Guerrazzi, L. A. C., & Scaciotta, V. (2018). Doing Bibliometric Reviews for the Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management, (September), 0–16. https://doi.org/10.5585/ijsm.v17i3.2713

Spanos, Y. E., Vonortas, N. S., & Voudouris, I. (2015). Antecedents of innovation impacts in publicly funded collaborative R&D projects. Technovation, 36, 53–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2014.07.010

Todorova, G., & Durisin, B. (2007). Absorptive capacity: Valuing a reconceptualization. Academy of management review, 32(3), 774-786.

Trajtenberg, M. (1990). A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations. The RAND Journal of Economics, 21(1), 172. https://doi.org/10.2307/2555502

Tsai, W., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital and value creation: The role of intrafirm networks. Academy of management Journal, 41(4), 464-476.

Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative science quarterly, 35-67.

Van den Bosch, F. A., Volberda, H. W., & De Boer, M. (1999). Coevolution of firm absorptive capacity and knowledge environment: Organizational forms and combinative capabilities. Organization science, 10(5), 551-568.

Vogel, R., & Güttel, W. H. (2013). The dynamic capability view in strategic management: A bibliometric review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(4), 426–446. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12000

Volberda, H. W., Foss, N. J., Lyles, M. A., & Foss, N. J. (2016). Absorbing the Concept of Absorptive Capacity: How to Realize Its Potential in the Organization Field. Organization Science, 21(4), 931–951.

Wang, C., Rodan, S., Fruin, M., & Xu, X. (2014). Knowledge networks, collaboration networks, and exploratory innovation. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2), 484-514.

Xie, X., Zou, H., & Qi, G. (2018). Knowledge absorptive capacity and innovation performance in high-tech companies: A multi-mediating analysis. Journal of Business Research, 88(June 2017), 289–297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.01.019

Xie, Y., Liu, H., & Gao, S. (2014). Innovation generation and appropriation: The dual roles of political ties in Chinese firms' new product development. International Journal of Technology Management, 65(1–4), 215–239. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2014.060958

Yli-Renko, H., Autio, E., & Sapienza, H. J. (2001). Social capital, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge exploitation in young technology-based firms. Strategic Management Journal, 22(6–7), 587–613. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.183

Zahra, S. A., & George, G. (2002). Absorptive Capacity: A Review, Reconceptualization, and Extension. Academy of Management Review, 27(2), 185-203. doi:10.5465/amr.2002.6587995

Zhang, M., Zhao, X., Lyles, M. A., & Guo, H. (2015). Absorptive capacity and mass customization capability. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 35(9), 1275–1294. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2015-0120

Zhao, Z. J., & Anand, J. (2009). A multilevel perspective on knowledge transfer: evidence from the Chinese automotive industry. Strategic management journal, 30(9), 959-983.

Zollo, M., & Winter, S. G. (2002). Deliberate learning and the evolution of dynamic capabilities. Organization science, 13(3), 339-351.

Zupic, I., & Čater, T. (2015). Bibliometric Methods in Management and Organization. Organizational Research Methods, 18(3), 429–472. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428114562629




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5585/riae.v20i1.18752

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2021 Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management (IJSM)
Revista Ibero-Americana de Estratégia (RIAE)
e-ISSN: 2176-0756
https://periodicos.uninove.br/index.php?journal=riae

Iberoamerican Journal of Strategic Management (IJSM) © 2021 All rights reserved.

Is this work licensed with a License
Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial-CompartilhaIgual 4.0 Internacional