Knowledge Acquisition As A Dynamic Capability For Managing Exploratory Innovation From External Or Internal Knowledge Sources

Author: Alexander Alexiev (VU - UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM), Henk Volberda (ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM), Justin J. P. Jansen (ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM), Frans A. J. Van Den Bosch (ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM)

 

Track 27 - Dynamic Capabilities: Theoretical Approaches And Practical Applications (1)

A critical issue for innovating organizations is the coordination of effort between external and internal sources of knowledge. This problem is particularly prominent when innovation is used as a vehicle for organizational exploration, that is, it is intended to shift the organization away from its existing products, routines and capabilities. This paper investigates whether a dynamic capability for knowledge acquisition can mediate the link between knowledge sources and exploratory innovation. We describe mechanisms through which organizations use their external or internal connectedness as conduits for the acquisition of new exploratory knowledge. A multi-industry empirical study showed support for the argument that diverse and distant knowledge can be sought outside the firm boundary. Yet, internally well connected companies are more likely to develop their knowledge acquisition capability as a dynamic capability that contributes to exploratory innovation.

 

Keywords: Capability, Connectedness, Innovation