Absorptive capacity: Scale adaptation and validation in South-Brazilian firms

Raquel Engelman, Edi Madalena Fracasso, Serje Schmidt, Hugo Fridolino Muller


One of the main elements of the process of creation of knowledge and innovation refers to the firms’ capacity to absorb external knowledge, conceptualized as Absorptive Capacity (ACAP). Given Brazil’s increasing economic development and Brazilian firms’ need to achieve competitive advantage, the validation of a scale for this concept in the Brazilian territory becomes relevant. This article aims to adapt and validate the scale of Flatten et al. (2011) in the Brazilian context. The scale was translated, adapted, evaluated by experts and subsequently tested in a sample of 495 companies in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, of different sizes, industry sectors and technological intensities. The method used was that of confirmatory factor analysis. Much of the sample presented the four dimensions of Absorptive Capacity developed, but some dimensions are more relevant to the development of technologies than others. The most developed variables are related to the importance of adopting new technologies and encouraging managers in the relationship between the departments. The scale was validated, indicating its consistency and adequacy to the South-Brazilian context. It also became clear that ACAP has four really different dimensions.

Keywords: Absorptive Capacity, knowledge internalization, measurement, scale.


Absorptive Capacity, Knowledge internalization, Measurement, Scale.

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