Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research
1997 Edition

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APPROPRIATING RENTS FROM EXTERNAL KNOWLEDGE: THE IMPACT OF ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY ON FIRM SALES GROWTH AND RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY

Michael B. Heeley, Georgia Institute of Technology


INTRODUCTION

THEORY

External Knowledge Acquisition
Intra-Firm Knowledge Dissemination
Firm Technical Capabilities
Moderating Factors

RESEARCH MODEL

MODEL I
MODEL II

DATA AND MEASURES

TABLE 1

ANALYSIS

TABLE 2

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

TABLE 3

REFERENCES

 

ABSTRACT

In this paper we investigate the impact of firm absorptive capacity on firm sales growth and research productivity. Using new measures of the constitutional elements of absorptive capacity; external knowledge acquisition, and intra–firm knowledge dissemination, were found to increase the productivity of research expenditures in a sample of business–units in the medical device and supplies industry. In addition the effects vary by firm size, small firms benefit from knowledge about customers while large firms benefit from knowledge about competitors and new developments.

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