Absorptive capacity: A review, reconceptualization, and extension

Shaker A. Zahra, Gerard George

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5936 Scopus citations


Researchers have used the absorptive capacity construct to explain various organizational phenomena. In this article we review the literature to identify key dimensions of absorptive capacity and offer a reconceptualization of this construct. Building upon the dynamic capabilities view of the firm, we distinguish between a firm's potential and realized capacity. We then advance a model outlining the conditions when the firm's potential and realized capacities can differentially influence the creation and sustenance of its competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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