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The Application of External Knowledge: Organizational Conditions for Exploration and Exploitation

Published on May 1, 2009in Journal of Management Studies 5.84
· DOI :10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00829.x
Paul E. Bierly22
Estimated H-index: 22
(JMU: James Madison University),
Fariborz Damanpour25
Estimated H-index: 25
(RU: Rutgers University),
Michael D. Santoro20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Lehigh University)
A firm's ability to acquire and exploit external knowledge is often critical to achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage. In this study, we adopt a multi-dimensional view of absorptive capacity and focus specifically on the application of external knowledge that has been obtained via university-firm collaborations. We examine various organizational conditions that we propose influence a firm's ability to apply external knowledge for explorative and exploitative innovations. We collected data by a survey of firms in industries that frequently work with university research centres (URCs) and from publicly available sources. Results show that predictors of exploration and exploitation of the application of external knowledge differ. Surprisingly, technological relatedness, a common measure of absorptive capacity, is negatively associated with the application of external knowledge to explorative innovations, indicating that knowledge from more distant sources is applied more to exploration. Results also indicate that the effects of two external learning capabilities (prior experience with URCs and technological capability) on knowledge application are moderated in such a way by the tacitness of the knowledge transferred that experience is a stronger predictor when the knowledge is more explicit and technological capability is a stronger predictor when the knowledge is more tacit. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on the application of external knowledge.
  • References (83)
  • Citations (228)
Published on Dec 1, 2010in Journal of Management Studies 5.84
Farok J. Contractor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(RU: Rutgers University),
Vikas Kumar29
Estimated H-index: 29
(USYD: University of Sydney)
+ 1 AuthorsTorben Pedersen45
Estimated H-index: 45
(CBS: Copenhagen Business School)
In the largest sense, global strategy amounts to (1) the optimal disaggregation or slicing of the firm's value chain into as many constituent pieces as organizationally and economically feasible, followed by (2) decisions as how each slice should be allocated geographically (‘offshoring’) and organizationally (‘outsourcing’). Offshoring and outsourcing are treated as strategies that need to be simultaneously analysed, where just ‘core’ segments of the value chain are retained in-house, while oth...
Published on Dec 1, 2010
Gabriela Dutrénit11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UAM: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana),
Carla De Fuentes1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UAM: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana),
Arturo Torres4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UAM: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana)
It is widely recognized that universities and public research centers, hereinafter referred to public research organizations (PROs) are producers and transmitters of knowledge, and as such can make important contributions both to increase the economic performance of firms and to solve societal problems.The process of knowledge transfer between PROs and industry occurs through multiple channels of interaction, however the effectiveness of different channels on the benefits perceived by both agent...
Published on Jul 1, 2010
Bertha Jimenez3
Estimated H-index: 3
(NYU: New York University),
Bojan Angelov3
Estimated H-index: 3
(NYU: New York University),
Bharat Rao8
Estimated H-index: 8
(NYU: New York University)
The concept of absorptive capacity has been part of the strategy and innovation discourse for a few decades. As industry and business practices have evolved, so has the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for developing and growing the absorptive capacity of contemporary organizations. In this paper, we trace the evolution of this concept and its operationalization and measurement. We particularly investigate how absorptive capacity can be used as a potential anchor of innovation researc...
Published on Dec 11, 2008
Estimated H-index: 87
Japanese companies, masters of manufacturing, have also been leaders in the creation, management, and use of knowledge-especially the tacit and often subjective insights, intuitions, and ideas of employees.
Published on Apr 1, 2008in Academy of Management Review 10.63
Jeffrey D. Ford20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Max M. Fisher College of Business),
Laurie W. Ford9
Estimated H-index: 9
Angelo D'Amelio1
Estimated H-index: 1
Prevailing views of resistance to change tell a one-sided story that favors change agents by proposing that resistance is an irrational and dysfunctional reaction located “over there” in change recipients. We tell the rest of the story by proposing that change agents contribute to the occurrence of resistance through their own actions and inactions and that resistance can be a resource for change. We conclude by proposing how resistance might be restructured.
Published on Jul 11, 2007in Industrial and Corporate Change 1.82
Albert N. Link49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill),
Donald S. Siegel60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University at Albany, SUNY),
Barry Bozeman54
Estimated H-index: 54
(UGA: University of Georgia)
Formal university technology transfer mechanisms, through licensing agreements, research joint ventures, and university-based startups, have attracted considerable attention in the academic literature. Surprisingly, there has been little systematic empirical analysis of the propensity of academics to engage in informal technology transfer. This paper presents empirical evidence on the determinants of three types of informal technology transfer by faculty members: knowledge transfer, joint public...
Published on May 11, 2007in Industrial and Corporate Change 1.82
Henrich R. Greve43
Estimated H-index: 43
A central theoretical problem in organizational evolution is how organizations acquire new capabilities. Organizational exploitation of current capabilities often reduces exploration of new capabilities, resulting in a short-term bias in organizational adaptation (March, 1991). In addition, problemistic search and slack search have different consequences for exploration and exploitation because exploration has greater risk and less routinization. Exploration and exploitation are also affected by...
Published on Dec 1, 2006in Journal of Engineering and Technology
Fariborz Damanpour25
Estimated H-index: 25
(RU: Rutgers University),
J. Daniel Wischnevsky4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Research on innovation in organizations has generally examined the differences in the characteristics of innovative and non-innovative organizations, an endeavor that has often produced inconsistent results. In this paper, we propose that future research may resolve those inconsistencies by incorporating in the theory the differences between organizations that mostly generate innovations and those that mostly adopt innovations. We refer to the former, which are primarily producers or suppliers o...
Published on Oct 1, 2006in Academy of Management Review 10.63
Peter J. Lane15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UNH: University of New Hampshire),
Balaji R. Koka10
Estimated H-index: 10
(ASU: Arizona State University),
Seemantini Pathak5
Estimated H-index: 5
(ASU: Arizona State University)
We conduct a detailed analysis of 289 absorptive capacity papers from 14 journals to assess how the construct has been utilized, examine the key papers in the field, and identify the substantive contributions to the broader literature using a thematic analysis. We argue that research in this area is fundamentally driven by five critical assumptions that we conclude have led to its reification and that this reification has led to stifling of research in this area. To address this, we propose a mo...
Published on Aug 1, 2006in Academy of Management Journal 7.19
Anil K. Gupta35
Estimated H-index: 35
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
Ken G. Smith44
Estimated H-index: 44
(UMD: University of Maryland, College Park),
Christina E. Shalley24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Exploration and exploitation have emerged as the twin concepts underpinning organizational adaptation research, yet some central issues related to them remain ambiguous. We address four related questions here: What do exploration and exploitation mean? Are they two ends of a continuum or orthogonal to each other? How should organizations achieve balance between exploration and exploitation—via ambidexterity or punctuated equilibrium? Finally, must all organizations strive for a balance, or is sp...
Cited By228
Published on Jun 26, 2019in Journal of Knowledge Management 4.60
Indu Ramachandran (Texas State University), Cynthia A. Lengnick-Hall14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UTSA: University of Texas at San Antonio),
Vishag Badrinarayanan12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Texas State University)
Published on Jun 25, 2019in Industry and Innovation 3.16
Xuemei Xie6
Estimated H-index: 6
(SHU: Shanghai University),
Yanru Gao (SHU: Shanghai University)+ 1 AuthorsXiaohua Meng (Soochow University (Suzhou))
Published on Jun 19, 2019in Business Process Management Journal
Meyer Haggège2
Estimated H-index: 2
Anne-Lorène Vernay4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Grenoble School of Management)
Purpose Imagining a new business model is a creative process that requires entrepreneurs to define how a firm can create and capture value with a new activity. The literature emphasises various tools and approaches for prototyping business models. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the suitability of story-making as a means of designing new business models and to shed light on its potential for stimulating creative entrepreneurial thinking. Design/methodology/approach This paper tests t...
Published on Apr 29, 2019in Journal of Intellectual Capital
Bismark Duodu (HKU: University of Hong Kong), Steve Rowlinson27
Estimated H-index: 27
(HKU: University of Hong Kong)
Intellectual capital (IC) has been suggested to be a means by which firms develop capabilities that enhance competitive advantage. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research linking IC with innovation in construction firms, leaving the IC–innovation link in such environments unclear. The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of the relationships between IC components and strategic exploratory and exploitative innovation in construction contractor firms.,The sample comprised 1...
Published on Jan 14, 2019in The Learning Organization
Matthew James Kerry2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Zürcher Fachhochschule),
Matthew J. Kerry-Krause (Zürcher Fachhochschule), Justin A. DeSimone6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UA: University of Alabama)
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reexamine exploration-exploitation’s reciprocality in organizational ambidexterity (OA) research. OA figures prominently in a variety of organization science phenomena. Introduced as a two-stage model for innovation, theory specifies reciprocal reinforcement between the OA processes of exploration (eR) and exploitation (eT). In this study, the authors argue that previous analyses of OA necessarily neglect this reciprocality in favor of conceptualizations t...
Published on May 13, 2019in Journal of Knowledge Management 4.60
Thilo Haamann1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Cologne),
Dirk Basten8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Cologne)
Purpose Organisations that systematically manage their knowledge based on processes of creating, storing, transferring and applying knowledge are likely to achieve both performance improvements and competitive advantages. However, companies often succeed in the first three processes only, while neglecting knowledge application. The phenomenon of employees not relying on existing knowledge when solving specific problems is referred to as knowing-doing gap. While the existence of this gap is well ...
Published on Apr 21, 2019in Police Practice and Research
Hina Kalyal3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UWO: University of Western Ontario)
ABSTRACTEvidence-based policing (EBP) is a decision-making perspective noted for its effectiveness in enhancing organizational performance. However, police in North America have been rather slow in adopting such practices. Few attempts have been made to understand how police organizations become receptive towards EBP. Based on 38 in-depth interviews with police executives and senior civilian officers across Canada, and utilizing a model of innovation adoption, the present study examines how open...
Published on Feb 1, 2019in Industrial Marketing Management 4.78
Omid Aliasghar1
Estimated H-index: 1
(AUT: Auckland University of Technology),
Elizabeth L. Rose14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Leeds),
Sylvie Chetty25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Uppsala University)
Abstract While the potential of open innovation to develop product-related improvements through the use of external knowledge sources is undeniable, our understanding of how firms become process innovators remains limited. Distinguishing between product and process innovation is important, as insights gleaned from investigating product innovation may not relate directly to the study of process innovation. This study provides new insight into open innovation and absorptive capacity by proposing t...