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An investigation into the development of the absorptive capacity of manufacturing SMEs

Saad, Mohammed; Kumar, Vikas; Bradford, John


Mohammed Saad
Professor in Innovation & Technology Mgm

Vikas Kumar
Professor in Operations and Supply Chain Management

John Bradford


To sustain their competitive advantage in a highly competitive landscape, SMEs, in spite of their limited resources, need to effectively learn. The ability to access and successfully use knowledge is at the heart of Absorptive Capacity. The main purpose of this empirical study is to investigate the importance of Awareness as an antecedent dimension of the concept of Absorptive Capacity of manufacturing SMEs from aerospace and advanced engineering industry in the UK. The study will also attempt to explore the impact of Awareness on the other dimensions of Absorptive Capacity. Awareness is related to the importance, motivation and interest of learning and innovating. Our study, which focuses on internal processes adopts a mixed method approach and is based on the data collected from 43 SMEs. Our finding suggests that Awareness as an antecedent dimension can play a vital role in helping SMEs to improve their knowledge-based resources through changes within their internal organisational and cognitive processes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 13, 2017
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Print ISSN 0020-7543
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Issue 23
Pages 6916-6931
Institution Citation Saad, M., Kumar, V., & Bradford, J. (2017). An investigation into the development of the absorptive capacity of manufacturing SMEs. International Journal of Production Research, 55(23), 6916-6931.
Keywords absorptive capacity, manufacturing SMEs, awareness, cognitive domain, affective domain, internal processes
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 13 May 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline....0/00207543.2017.1327728


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