Social Capital and Effective Innovation in Industrial Districts: Dual Effect of Absorptive Capacity
ABSTRACT This paper deals with the factors that affect the heterogeneity in the access to knowledge and its exploitation through innovation in firms located in industrial districts. The aim of the study is to analyze the moderating role of the components of the absorptive capacity – identification and combination – in the process that leads firms in industrial districts with social capital to obtain effective innovations through the knowledge acquisition. We have developed the empirical analysis on a sample of 166 firms located in the industrial districts of the footwear industry in Spain. Findings suggest that the firms in industrial districts improve the acquisition of novel and valuable knowledge from external networks of information when they have identification capabilities to explore their potential. The results also indicate combinative capability strengthens the acquired new knowledge to develop and exploit successful innovations.
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ABSTRACT: The implications of Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) for firm performance in low- and medium-tech (LMT) industries are largely unexplored and seem to be limited. In this paper we seek to address this research gap studying how Absorptive Capacity can act as a key factor determining the effectiveness of EO in such a context. Specifically, we adopt the knowledge-based view of the firm and explore the moderating effects of Absorptive Capacity’s Potential and Realized dimensions on the EO–performance relationship in LMT industries. Our regression results based on a lagged dataset of 103 medium-sized firms based in Italy confirm our hypotheses that, in LMT industries, EO has a positive effect on firm performance when coupled with high levels of both Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity.European Management Journal 10/2014; 32(5). DOI:10.1016/j.emj.2013.12.007 · 0.80 Impact Factor