Absorptive Capacity - what is it, and do you have any?

by Cecilia Thirlway, on 20 Jan 2016 1 min read

Absorptive Capacity - what is it, and do you have any?

How good is your organisation at assimilating new information or knowledge? Do your people have the ability and time to find out what’s new in your industry and apply it to your organisation? John Bessant, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Exeter University, has written a really useful blog about building absorptive capacity in your organisation. Absorptive capacity is a term first coined in 1990 by Cohen and Levinthal and is:

“the ability …. to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends”

Without absorptive capacity, it’s very difficult for an organisation to innovate, as even if your people can assimilate new knowledge and information from outside the organisation, they lack the skills, time or resources to create value from it.

Read Professor Bessant’s blog to find out what four linked behaviours make up absorptive capacity, and see his useful framework for strengthening your organisation’s abilities in this area.

Topics:Creative ThinkingIdea Management