Abstract: Developing absorptive capacity has emerged as an underlying theme in strategy and organization research. Absorptive capacity can reinforce and refocus an organization’s knowledge base. The capacity to assimilate, internalize, and utilize knowledge to drive change initiatives is a construct derived from both individual cognitive abilities and organizational structural components. The problem is that poor organizational readiness impedes an organization’s absorptive capacity to assimilate, internalize, and ultimately use new knowledge to drive change initiatives. If deployed correctly, a readiness assessment can help evaluate this capacity and provide the basis for planning the appropriate alignment of resources. This study addresses gaps in the literature on how design thinking as a business model provides a dynamic capability and competitive advantage by enhancing an organization’s absorptive capacity to acquire, assimilate, and apply external knowledge.

Read more in the November 2017 issue of the ISM Journal of International Business (Pages 17-26).

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