Title: External knowledge acquisition, creativity and learning in organisational problem solving

Authors: Christine W. Soo, Timothy M. Devinney, David F. Midgley

Addresses: School of Economics and Commerce, University of Western Australia, Nedlands 6009, Australia. ' Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia. ' INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, 77305 Fontainebleau Cedex, France

Abstract: The role of knowledge in firm strategy and performance is well documented in existing literature. Numerous studies conclude that, in general, the higher the level of knowledge acquired, the greater the level of firm performance. In this study, we take a more micro-level approach. Specifically, we examine the impact of external knowledge on the processes of creativity and learning in problem solving. We also investigate the role of absorptive capacity in knowledge acquisition, creativity and learning. As we will show, simply having access to a pool of external knowledge is not enough. If the firm is to use this knowledge to improve its performance, it must be able to do the following: absorb that knowledge; act creatively upon that knowledge; create new knowledge from these activities.

Keywords: knowledge acquisition; creativity; organisational learning; problem solving; absorptive capacity; firm performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2007.012433

International Journal of Technology Management, 2007 Vol.38 No.1/2, pp.137 - 159

Published online: 13 Feb 2007 *

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