A firm’s absorptive capacity : the role of management controls
This research aims to delve further into two main antecedents of AC at the organizational level, being prior knowledge and internal mechanisms. AC is defined as innovation ability; moreover, AC is rooted in organizational learning processes, which entail capabilities to identify new external knowledge and benefit from it. AC is an umbrella term comprising four distinct capabilities of acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation of new external knowledge. These capabilities are sequential and interrelated since capabilities to transform new external knowledge and implement changes to exploit new knowledge commercially (referring to realized AC) depend on developing abilities to acquire and assimilate new external knowledge (referring to potential AC). Given the enabling nature of AC for firms, especially in changing environments, the literature discusses the importance and relevancy of developing AC for strategic changes, innovation, performance, and the development of competitive advantages. Consequently, the emergence of AC’s importance encourages scholars to question what makes a difference in firms' innovation ability. Therefore, in this dissertation, we answer the calls to study AC’s antecedents by an inward-looking approach to the role of prior knowledge and internal organizational mechanisms in AC development. I disentangle prior knowledge and organizational internal mechanisms as the most critical antecedents of AC at the organizational level. Tacit knowledge and PMS design address the urge to differentiate two types of prior knowledge accumulated in SMEs concerning AC development. Moreover, the levers of boundary and belief controls, diagnostic and interactive use of control information captures organizational internal mechanism closely aligned with how managers use performance information to conduct strategic changes. Therefore, I study whether and how these levers of control relate to developing AC capabilities. Finally, I extend whether the lever of control relationship with AC capabilities is the same for SMEs with abundant resources. Thus, I delve into the potential moderating influence of HR and financial slack resources in the LOC-AC relationship.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Accounting & Finance , 2023
212 p.
Supervisor: Jorissen, Ann [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Cools, Martine [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Paeleman, Ine [Supervisor]
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Creation 09.11.2023
Last edited 29.11.2023
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