Anker Lund Vinding Ph.D. project In the knowledge-based economy interorganizational interaction is regarded as crucial in the process of product innovation. Contributions from Lundvall, Von Hippel and the resource based view of the firm all argue that absorptive capacity is of importance for an efficient use of external knowledge. The most common and widely used definition in this respect is emphasized by Cohen and Levinthal. They point out that absorptive capacity is determined by the firms’ investment in internal knowledge base, i.e. R&D. However, absorptive capacity in the absolute sense is too narrow. In order to absorb external knowledge the firm also needs to invest in the establishment of channels and codes of communication to external parties. By emphasizing the relative aspect of absorptive capacity as investment in social capital we argue that absolute absorptive capacity and social capital are complementary. This calls for new indicators, which incorporates both the absolute and the relative aspect. The analytical framework therefore needs to go beyond the firm to include the portfolio of collaboration partners as well as the way they exchange knowledge between each other. By emphasizing these three dimensions with respect to the complementarity between the absolute and the relative aspects of absorptive capacity the dissertation concludes that complementarity exists. The implications for firms and policy makers are that in order to give effective access to absorption investment in both the internal knowledge base of the firm and in relationships is needed.
|Effective start/end date||01/10/1998 → 01/05/2002|