Innovation reliability and variability strategies: the importance of absorptive capacity to systemic outcomes

José Pinheiro, Luís Filipe Lages, Álvaro Lopes Dias, Graça Miranda Silva, Miguel Torres Preto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The role of absorptive capacity (AC) has been widely recognised in the innovation literature. This study examines the predictive role of AC for business performance, and evaluates the mediation of market orientation (responsive-proactive) and innovation competences orientation (exploitation-exploration) in that relationship. The findings show that innovation competence orientations are more important to business performance than market orientations and that innovation competences are better enhanced by AC than by market orientations. AC is not only confirmed as an antecedent of ambidextrous market and innovation competence orientation, but it also helps directly and indirectly to explain business performance. Responsive market orientation (REMKTOR) and innovation competence orientation mediate the positive relationship between AC and business performance. The intensity and significance of the indirect effects reveal the specific knowledge-transformative roles of market and innovation competences orientations. Firms seem to mitigate uncertainty by adjusting their preferences toward less risky innovation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-337
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Knowledge-Based Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Absorptive capacity
  • Business performance
  • Exploitative innovation
  • Explorative innovation
  • Innovation competences orientation
  • Market orientation


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