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Elham Shahmiri Lakeh*, Alireza Khorakian and Mahdi Forghani Bajestani
Purpose: This study highlights knowledge absorptive capacity as a core capability playing a key role in organizational success through increased responsiveness to environmental changes. It also aims to evaluate the strategic orientation of prospector, analyzer, and defender organizations as a contextual factor conditioning the effect of knowledge absorptive capacity.
Design: The study adopts a quantitative approach using self-administered questionnaires. The primary data collected from senior managers of 80 medium and large manufacturing firms were used in multiple regressions to test the hypotheses.
Findings: The results suggest that there is a positive, significant relationship between knowledge absorptive capacity and organizational responsiveness. Further, this positive effect is more pronounced for prospectors, but not for analyzer and defender organizations.
Originality: While the role of knowledge absorptive capacity in improving the responsiveness of small and medium sized enterprises has been established in the literature, it is underexplored for larger firms facing rigidity and inertia. In addition, little is known about how this role plays out for different organizations depending on their strategic orientation. This study fills these gaps by investigating the effect of knowledge absorptive capacity on the responsiveness of prospector, analyzer, and defender organizations in the context of medium and large manufacturing firms.
Practical implications: Our findings indicate those prospector organizations that continually try to experiment with new ways of product development and venturing into new markets are best positioned to benefit from knowledge absorptive capacity as an important stimulus to improve their responsiveness to environmental changes.
Published Date: 2023-01-20; Received Date: 2022-08-30