Absorptive Capacity and Organizational Performance: A Study of Banks in Turkey

Abderaouf Bouguerra

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

Abstract

The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between absorptive capacity (ACAP) and organizational performance. The thesis addresses the following research questions: 1) why are some firms better at managing their potential and realized absorptive capacity than others? 2) what is the link between ACAP and organizational performance? The empirical analysis using multi-level modelling technique is drawn on data obtained from 200 managers of the banking sector in Turkey.
The thesis contributes to the progress of ACAP research in three ways. First, it provides a systematic review of the fragmented literature concerning the relationship between ACAP and organizational outcomes. It identifies and analyses 214 papers on ACAP and performance published between 1990 and 2015 in high impact business and management journals. The aim is to review, organize and synthesise the relationship between ACAP and organizational performance according to research approaches used and theories applied to understand the ACAP-organizational performance link. The review moves the literature review forward by highlighting the causes of inconsistencies, providing remedies and suggesting an agenda for future research.
Second, the thesis examines the antecedents of a firm’s absorptive capacity. The two components of potential absorptive capacity (PACAP) and realized absorptive capacity (RACAP), are treated separately, in order to assess the moderating effects of market-sensing and responsiveness capabilities. The findings from multi-level analyses, show that while coordination facilitates the development of potential absorptive capacity, systems and socialization enhance the firm’s realized absorptive capacity. Further, market sensing capability moderates the relationship between coordination and PACAP, and market responsiveness capability moderates the relationship between socialization and RACAP. Also, market responsiveness capability moderates the relationship between systems and RACAP. Drawing on these findings, this study contributes to ACAP research by elucidating that market sensing and responsiveness are prerequisite capabilities for effective acquisition and exploitation of knowledge.
Third, this research assesses how ACAP’s two components, PACAP and RACAP, separately and jointly affect organizational performance. The findings indicate that the combined effect of potential and realized absorptive capacities on organizational performance is greater than the separate effect of the two components. Further, this study reports that the combined effect becomes stronger when organizations operate at a low level of environmental dynamism, and possess a high level of network size. Drawing on these results, the study stresses that potential and realized absorptive capacities are complementary in enhancing superior performance, and indeed this relationship is context dependent.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWarwick
PublisherUniversity of Warwick
Number of pages120
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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