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RETOS. Revista de Ciencias de la Administración y Economía

On-line version ISSN 1390-8618Print version ISSN 1390-6291


ZAPATA ROTUNDO, Gerardo J.  and  HERNANDEZ ARIAS, Aymara. Absorptive capacity: a literature review and a model of its determinants. Retos [online]. 2018, vol.8, n.16, pp.121-140. ISSN 1390-8618.

The present article aims to carry out a review of the literature on one of the most relevant constructs in the study of orga­nizational behavior that emerged from the work of Cohen & Levinthal (1990). We refer to the absorptive capacity, which has had a wide attention and application in different fields: learning and knowledge management, innovation processes and technological development, strategic management, human resource management, organizational design, among others. In this way, the research is approached according to the type of descriptive study, with documentary design. Therefore, we intend to advance in the integration and comprehension of the capacity of absorption through the identification and discussion of different aspects related to its origin, components, determinants, its relation with the cognition of the individual and the importance that it has for the development, performance and the achievement of competitive advantages on the company. This provides a general vision for its management and application, and a model of its determinants is proposed. The factors that define the construct are presented through a model, among them: organizational, environment and cognitive. The latter is highlighted as a differentiating factor from the models that have traditionally been developed by literature.

Keywords : Absorptive capacity; environment; competitive advantages; cognition; organization; knowledge.

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