Cross-border R&D Alliances, Absorptive Capacity and Technology Learning

Chang-Su Kim, Andrew Inkpen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Drawing from research on alliance learning, we develop a model of technology learning by integrating technological capabilities and alliance knowledge in a framework of absorptive capacity. We also differentiate between absolute and relative components of absorptive capacity. Our study of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry found that technology learning was higher when firms were quick to adopt new technologies and when they have accumulated experience via alliances. Among alliances, cross-border R&D alliances have the strongest effect on technology learning. Overall, the findings show the pronounced effect of absolute absorptive capacity on technology learning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-border R&D alliances
  • Absorptive capacity
  • Technology learning

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