Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 368: Knowledge Absorption in the Development of Export Products

Peter Warda () and Börje Johansson ()
Additional contact information
Peter Warda: Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), and Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS) KTH, Sweden, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Börje Johansson: Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS) KTH, and Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Sweden, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper we analyze how firms’ knowledge absorption capacity – given the knowledge environment – affects the development, adoption and introduction of new export products among Swedish manufacturing firms. Our model formulation builds on theoretical arguments which imply that firms can influence the usefulness of their knowledge environment by establishing formal and informal networks with input suppliers (especially suppliers of knowledge-intensive business services) and by exploiting their absorptive capacity. The model suggests that the higher the knowledge absorption in firms, the higher the introduction frequency of new export products. In particular, it is the conjunction of a high absorptive capacity and a high external knowledge potential that makes certain firms successful introducers of new export products.

Keywords: Absorptive capacity; innovation; exports; manufacturing; knowledge; Sweden

JEL-codes: D21; D24; F23; L60; R30

31 pages, August 11, 2014

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