Title: Network absorptive capacity: an interorganisational practice-based analysis regarding the development of X-ray technologies

Authors: Frank Lerch; Gordon Müller-Seitz

Addresses: Helmut Schmidt University – University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg, Germany ' Freie Universität Berlin, Boltzmannstr. 20, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Abstract: In line with Cohen and Levinthal's conception, previous research has conceptualised absorptive capacity as an organisational phenomenon, predominantly by means of quantitative methods. In contrast, this research develops a conceptual framework of network absorptive capacity (NACAP). Based upon a longitudinal in-depth case study of XRA, an interorganisational network that engages in developing innovative X-ray-analytics technologies, we add to the literature as follows: first, we introduce NACAP, venturing beyond the organisation or dyad as a unit of analysis. Second, we adopt a practice perspective in order to illustrate how the XRA network, by means of its members, is able to identify, acquire, utilise and disseminate knowledge, namely by congregating, roadmapping, assigning and projecting. Third, we elucidate the value considering the lower and upper 'boundary levels' of NACAP, that is the organisation (i.e., lower level) and the organisational field (i.e., the upper level) as levels both contributing to NACAP.

Keywords: interorganisational networks; innovation networks; X-ray technologies; X-rays; interorganisational practices; practice-based analyses; Wesley Cohen; Daniel Levinthal; organisational phenomenon; conceptual frameworks; network absorptive capacity; X-ray analytics; Germany; knowledge acquisition; knowledge dissemination; knowledge utilisation; lower boundary levels; upper boundary levels; organisational fields; congregating; interpersonal exchanges; roadmapping; assigning; personnel transfers; projecting; temporary projects; interorganisational projects; knowledge management; KM; organisational learning; strategic learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2012.051943

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.109 - 132

Accepted: 05 Jul 2012
Published online: 05 Feb 2013 *

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