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Exploitative and exploratory innovations in emerging economies: The role of realized absorptive capacity and learning intent

Zaheer Khan, Yong Kyu Lew and Svetla Marinova

International Business Review, 2019, vol. 28, issue 3, 499-512

Abstract: This paper investigates the mediating effect of learning intent in transforming local suppliers’ potential absorptive capacity into realized absorptive capacity and its impact on exploitative and exploratory innovation. Using survey data from 155 auto parts manufacturers in Pakistan, we find that local firms’ realized absorptive capacity enables them to develop both exploitative and exploratory innovations. The findings further suggest that local suppliers’ learning intent mediates the relationship between potential and realized absorptive capacity which in turn lead to both types of innovation. In the context of the emerging economy of Pakistan, local suppliers’ absorptive capacity is found to be critically important in spurring exploitative and exploratory innovation, but learning intent enables realized absorptive capacity and thus in conjunction with realized absorptive capacity supports innovation. Consequently, there would be a strong case for policy intervention to assist emerging economy firms in building their absorptive capacity and strengthening their learning intent as a route for promoting innovation and improving their value added position in the global value chains of multinational enterprises.

Keywords: Potential absorptive capacity; Realized absorptive capacity; Learning intent; Exploratory innovation; Exploitative innovation; Knowledge transfer; Automotive parts industry; Organizational learning; Quantitative methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:28:y:2019:i:3:p:499-512