This study explores how organizational antecedents affect potential and realized absorptive capacity. Our study identifies differential effects for both components of absorptive capacity. Results indicate that organizational mechanisms associated with coordination capabilities (i.e. cross-functional interfaces, participation in decision-making, and job rotation) primarily enhance a unit’s potential absorptive capacity. Organizational mechanisms associated with socialization capabilities (i.e. connectedness and socialization tactics) primarily increase a unit’s realized absorptive capacity. Our findings reveal why units may have difficulties in managing levels of potential and realized absorptive capacity and vary in their ability to create value from their absorptive capacity.

absorptive capacity, combinative capabilities, external knowledge, organizational antecedents
Firm Behavior (jel D21), Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General (jel L20), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M)
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Jansen, J.J.P, van den Bosch, F.A.J, & Volberda, H.W. (2005). Managing Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity: How do Organizational Antecedents matter? (No. ERS-2005-025-STR). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from