Beneath the Surface: Exploring the role of Individuals Learning in the Emergence of Absorptive Capacity
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Original versionBreunig, K. J., & Martinkenaite, I. (2015, September). Beneath the Surface: Exploring the Role of Individuals Learning in the Emergence of Absorptive Capacity. In European Conference on Knowledge Management (p. 178). Academic Conferences International Limited.
Drawing on the micro - foundations view of strategy, we examine the role of individuals in organizational learning and reveal the micro - macro interactions underpinning the emergence of a firm - level absorptive capacity. Whereas most of the absorptive capacity research focuses on interaction of external and internal envi ronments, we emphasise the interplay between organizational and individual levels of absorptive capacity. W e find that the nature of knowledge, the role of individuals and their social interactions are explicitly addressed in the seminal works of Cohen and Levinthal . However, these micro - level considerations are insufficiently problematized in subsequent research. This neglect has resulted in limited explanations of how absorptive capacity emerges as an organizational - level phenomenon. Based on an explorato ry, longitudinal case study, we re - conceptualize absorptive capacity as a set of three, sequentially inter - linked learning processes in which individual and organization interact and suggest three propositions for further empirical research.