Effects of the Absorption Capacity in the Innovation of the Industrial Sector in the North of Mexico

Sheila Yazmín Solís Vázquez, Mariana Zerón Félix, Yesenia Sánchez Tovar


Introduction: Economic theories imply that the basis of a country's economic development lies in innovation while being achievable in the use and application of knowledge in economic activities. Therefore, this research examines the process of knowledge generation through the absorption capacity and its effect on the innovation of companies in the industrial sector in the northern border of Mexico.

Method: The methodological design consisted of a quantitative investigation using a questionnaire applied to the managers and supervisors of 128 industrial companies of the northern border of Tamaulipas, Mexico. The technique for the processing of the data was the structural model equation (SME) through the covariances that allow exanimate a simultaneous multiple dependency relations, the above is processed through the statistical package AMOS version 21.

Results: The evidence indicates that the absorption capacity is dimensioned by two elements which is the potential absorption capacity and the absorption capacity carried out. The same way the results allowed us to observe the innovation in the processes. The foregoing was admitted through the convergent and discriminating validity. Finally, the potential absorption capacity and activity could be seen in the structural model.

Discussion or Conclusion: The previous results in the understanding of the learning dynamics of the organization are those that favor the development of processes in innovators. Highlighting the lack of knowledge assimilation in this type of companies, which can lead to a lack of innovations in the product.


innovation; absorption capacity; knowledge; manufacturing industry


Ahuja, Gautam y Katila, Riitta (2001). Technological acquisitions and the innovation performance of acquiring firms: A longitudinal study. Strategic Management Journal 22: 197-220.

Ali, Murad, Seny, Kan Konan Anderson y Sarstedt, Marko. (2016). Direct and configurational paths of absorptive capacity and organizational innovation to successful organizational performance. Journal of Business Research 69: 5317-5323.

Ambrosini, Véronique y Bowman, Cliff. (2009). What are dynamic capabilities and are they a useful construct in strategic management. International Journal of Management Reviews 11(1): 29-49.

Arbussà, Anna y Coenders, Germà. (2007). Innovation activities, use of appropriation instruments and absorptive capacity: Evidence from Spanish firms. Research Policy 36: 1545-1558.

Beaudry, Catherine y Breschi, Stefano (2003). Are firms in clusters really more innovative? Economics of innovation and New Technology 12(4): 325-342.

Becheikh, Nizar, Landry, Réjean y Amara, Nabil. (2006). Lessons from innovation empirical studies in the manufacturing sector. A systematic review of the literature from 1993-2003. Technovation 26, 644-664.

Bento, Nuno y Fontes, M. Margarida. (2015). The capacity for adopting energy innovations in Portugal: Historical evidence and perspectives for the future. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 113: 308-318.

Bishop, Paul y Wiseman, Nick. (1999). External ownership and innovation in the United Kingdom. Applied Economics 31(4): 443-450.

Bradford, John y Saad, M. (2014). Towards a method for measuring Absorptive Capacity in firms. International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development 13(3): 237-249.

Browne, Michael W. y Cudeck, Robert. (1992). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Sociological Methods & Research 21(2): 230-258.

Caloghirou, Yannis, Kastelli, Ioanna y Tsakanikas, Aggelos (2004). Internal capabilities and external knowledge sources: complements or substitutes for innovative performance? Technovation 24: 29-39.

Camisón, César y Forés, Beatriz. (2010). Knowledge absorptive capacity: New insights for its conceptualization and measurement. Journal of Business Research 63: 707-715.

Cepeda-Carrión, Gabriel, Cegarra-Navarro, Juan B. y Jiménez-Jiménez, Daniel. (2012). The Effect of Absorptive Capacity on Innovativeness: Context and Information System Capability as Catalyst. British Journal of Management 23: 110-129.

Chen, Chung-Jen. (2004). The Determinants of Knowledge Transfer Through Strategic Alliances. Academy of Management Proceedings, H1-H6.

Chen, Yu-Shan, Lin, Ming-Ji James y Chang, Ching-Hsun. (2009). The positive effects of relationship learning and absorptive capacity on innovation performance and competitive advantage in industrial markets. Industrial marketing management 38:152-158.

Cohen, Wesley M. y Levinthal, Daniel A. (1989). Innovation and learning: The two faces of R&D. The Economic Journal, 99(397): 569-596.

Cohen, Wesley M. y Levinthal, Daniel A. (1990). Absorptive Capacity. A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly 35(1): 128-152.

Cruz-Cázares, C., Bayona-Sáenz, C. y García-Marco, T. (2013). You can´t manage right what you can´t measure well: Technological innovation efficiency. Research Policy, 42(6-7), 1239-1250.

Cycyota, Cynthia S. y Harrison, David A. (2002). Enhancing survey response rates at the Executive level. Journal of Management 28(2): 151-176.

Daghfous, A. (2004). Organizational learning, knowledge and technology transfer: a case study. The Learning Organization, 11(1), 67–83.

De Macedo, Soares, T. Diana L., Silva Barboza, Tania y de Oliveira, Paula F. (2016). Absorptive Capacity, Alliance Portfolios and Innovation Performance: an Analytical Model Based on Bibliographic Research. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation 11(3): 21-32.

De Propris, Lisa. (2002). Types of innovation and inter-firm cooperation. Entrepreneuship & Regional Development: An International Journal 14(4): 337-353.

Díez-Vial, Isabel y Montoro-Sánchez, Ángeles. (2015). How knowledge links with universities may foster innovation: The case of a science park. Technovation 50-51: 41-52.

Dressler, Marc. (2013). Innovation management of German wineries: from activity to capacity—an explorative multi-case survey. Wine Economics and Policy 2: 19-26.

Duchek, Stephani (2013). Capturing absorptive capacity: A critical review and future prospects. Schmalenbach Business Review 65(3): 312–329

Escribano, Alvaro, Fosfuri, Andrea y Tribó, Josep A. (2009). Managing external knowledge flows: The moderating role of absorptive capacity. Research policy 38: 96-105.

Esterhuizen, Denéle, Schutte, Cornelius S.L. y Du Toit, Adeline S.A. (2012). Knowledge creation processes as critical enablers for innovation. International Journal of Information Management 32: 354-364.

Expósito-Langa, Manuel, Molina-Morales, Francesc X. y Tomás-Miquel, José-Vicente. (2015). How shared vision moderates the effects of absorptive capacity and networking on clustered firms’ innovation. Scandinavian Journal of Management 31: 293-302.

Fernandes, Rodrigues A. Marlon, Sartorello, Salvini, Jessâmine T., Bansi, Ana C., Galli Nieto, Elio y Vasconcelos Ribiero G. Simone. (2016). Does the Size Matter for Dynamics Capabilities? A Study on Absorptive Capacity. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation 11(3): 84-93.

Flatten, Tessa C. Engelen, Andreas, Zahra, Shaker A. y Brettel, Malte. (2011). A measure of absorptive capacity: Scale of development and validation, European Management Journal 29(2): 98-116.

Flor Peris, María Luisa, Oltra Mestre, María José y García Palao, Cristina. (2011). La relación entre la capacidad de absorción del conocimiento externo y la estrategia empresarial: un análisis exploratorio. Revista Europea de Dirección y Economía de la Empresa 20(1): 69-88.

Forés Julián, Beatriz y Camisón Zornoza, César. (2008). La capacidad de absorción de conocimiento: factores determinantes internos y externos. Dirección y Organización 36: 35-49.

Fornell, Claes y Larcker, Dacid F. (1981). Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error. Journal of Marketing Research 18(1): 39-50.

Furman, Jeffrey L., Porter, Michael y Stern, Scott. (2002). The determinants of national innovative capacity. Research Policy 31(6): 899-933.

García-Morales, Víctor J., Ruiz-Moreno, Antonia y Llorens-Montes, Francisco Javier (2007). Effects of technology absorptive capacity and technology proactivity on organizational learning, innovation and performance: An empirical examination. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19(4), 527-558.

Gellynck, Xavier, Cárdenas, Jorge, Zuzanna, Pienik y Verbeke, Win. (2015). Association between Innovative Entrepreneurial Orientation, Absorptive Capacity, and Farm Business Performance. Agribusiness 31(1): 91-106.

Giuliani, Elisa y Bell, Martin. (2005). The micro-determinants of meso-level learning and innovation: evidence from a Chilean wine cluster. Research Policy 34(1): 47-68.

González-Campo, Carlos Hernán y Hurtado-Ayala Andrea. (2014). Influencia de la capacidad de absorción sobre la innovación: un análisis empírico en las mipymes colombianas. Estudios gerenciales 30: 277-286.

Hurtado-Ayala Andrea y González-Campo, Carlos Hernán. (2015). Measurement of knowledge absorptive capacity: An estimated indicator for the manufacturing and service sector in Colombia, Revista Globalización, Competitividad y Gobernabilidad 9(2): 16-42.

Hair Jr., Joseph F., Anderson, Rolph, Tatham, Ronald L., Black, William C. (2004). Análisis multivariante (quinta edición). Madrid: Ed. Pearson-Prentice Hall.

Harmsen, Hanne, Grunert, Klaus G. y Declerck, Francis. (2000). Why did we make that chesse? An empirically bassed framework for understanding what drives innovation activity. R&D Management 30(2): 151-166.

Hu, Li-Tze y Bentler, Peter M. (1995). Evaluating model fit. En R. H. Hoyle (Ed.). Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues and applications (pp. 76-99). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Hu, Li-Tze y Bentler, Peter M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 6(1): 1-55.

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) (2014). Directorio Estadístico Nacional de Unidades Económicas. https://www.inegi.org.mx (21 de Diciembre de 2017)

Jansen, Justin J.P., Van Den Bosch, Frans A. J. y Volberda, Henk W. (2005). Managing Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity: How do Organizational Antecedents Matter? Academy of management Journal 36(10): 1545- 1558.

Javalgi, Rajshekhar G, Hall, Kenneth D. y Cavusgil, S. Tamer. (2014). Corporate entrepreneurship, customer-oriented selling, absorptive capacity, and international sales performance in the international B2B setting: Conceptual framework and research propositions. International Business Review 23(6): 1193-1202

Kostopoulos, Konstantinos, Papalexandris, Alexandros, Papachroni, Margarita y Ioannou, George. (2011). Absorptive capacity, innovation, and financial performance. Journal of Business Research 64: 1335-1343.

Lane, Peter J., Koka, Balaji y Pathak, Seemantini. (2002). A thematic analysis and critical assessment of absorptive capacity research. Academy of Management Proceedings 2002(1): M1-M6.

Lane, Peter J., Salk, Jane E. y Lyes, Marjorie A. (2001). Absorptive capacity, learning, and performance in international Joint Ventures. Strategic Management Journal 22: 1139-1161.

Lane, Peter J., Koka, Balaji R. y Pathak, Seemantini (2006). The reification of absorptive capacity: A critical review and rejuvenation of the construct. Academy of Management Review 31(4): 833-863.

Lau, Antonio K. W. y Lo, William. (2015). Regional innovation system, absorptive capacity and innovation performance: An empirical study. Technological Forecasting & Social Change 92: 99-114.

Lazzarotti, V., Manzini, R. y Mari, L. (2011). A model for R&D performance measurement. International Journal of Production Economics, 134(1), 212–223.

Leal-Rodríguez, Antonio L., Roldán, José L., Ariza-Montes José A. y Leal-Millán, Antonio. (2014). From potential absorptive capacity to innovation outcomes in project teams: The conditional mediating role of the realized absorptive capacity in a relational learning context. International Journal of Project Management 32(6): 894-907.

Leal-Rodríguez, Antonio L. y Albort-Morant, Gema (2015). Capacidad de absorción del conocimiento y resultados de la innovación: un estudio empírico en empresas españolas del sector de la automoción. Universitas: Gestão e TI 5(2): 35-47.

Lichtenthaler, Ulrich. (2009). Absorptive capacity, environmental turbulence, and the complementary of organizacional learning processes. Academy of Management Journal 52(4): 822-846.

Limaj, Everist, Bernroider, Edward W.N. y Choudrie, Jyoti. (2016). The Impact of Social Information System Governance, Utilization and Capabilities on Absorptive Capacity and Innovation: A Case of Austrian SMEs. Information and Management 53(3): 380-397

Liu, Hefu, Ke, Weiling, Wei, Kwok Kee y Hua, Zhongsheng (2013). The impact of IT capabilities on firm performance: The mediating roles of absorptive capacity and supply chain agility. Decision Support Systems 54(3): 1452-1462.

Love, James H., Aschroft, Brian y Dunlop, Stewart. (1996). Corporate structure, ownership and the likelihood of innovation. Applied Economics 28(6): 737-746.

Love, James H. y Aschroft, Brian. (1999). Market versus corporate structure in Plan-Level Innovation performance. Small Business Economics 13(2): 97-109.

Mariz-Pérez, Rosa M., Teijeiro-Álvarez, M. Mercedes y García-Álvarez, M. Teresa. (2012). The relevance of human capital as a driver for innovation. Cuadernos de economía 35: 68-76.

Martínez-del-Río, Javier, Céspedes-Lorente, José y Pérez-Vall, Miguel. (2013). Relación entre las prácticas de recursos humanos, la innovación y el rendimiento en clústeres geográficos. Cuadernos de Economía y Dirección de la Empresa 16(4): 238-250.

Matusik, Sharon F. y Heeley, Michael B. (2005). Absorptive Capacity in the Software Industry: Identifying Dimensions That Affect Knowledge and Knowledge Creation Activities. Journal of Management 31(4): 549-572.

Máynez-Guaderrama, I. A., Cavazos-Arroyo, J. y Nuño-De la Parra, J. P. (2012). La influencia de la cultura organizacional y la capacidad de absorción sobre la transferencia de conocimiento tácito intra-organizacional. Estudios Gerenciales, 28, 191-211.

McEvily, Bill y Marcus, Alfred. (2005). Embedded ties and the acquisition of competitive capabilities. Strategic Management Journal 26(11): 1033-1055.

Micheels, Eric T. y Nolan, James F. (2016). Examining the effects of absorptive capacity and social capital on the adoption of agricultural innovations: A Canadian Prairie case study. Agricultural Systems 145:127-138.

Michie, Jonathan y Sheeman Michie, Maura. (2003). Labour market deregulation, flexibility and innovation. Cambridge Journal of economics 27(1): 123-143.

Murovec, Nika y Prodan, Igor. (2009). Absorptive capacity, its determinants, and influence on innovation output: Cross-cultural validation of the structural model. Technovation 29, 859-872.

Nieto, Mariano y Quevedo, Pilar. (2005). Absorptive capacity, technological opportunity, knowledge spillovers, and innovative effort. Technovation 25: 1141-1157.

Nonaka, Ikujiro. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science 5(1): 14–37.

Nunally, Jum C. y Bernstein, Ira H. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE). (2005). Manual de Oslo. Guía para la recolección e interpretación de datos sobre innovación. Segundo taller sobre indicadores de ciencia, tecnología e innovación. 5 de Marzo de 2017.

Patterson, William y Ambrosini, Véronique. (2015). Configuring absorptive capacity as a key process for research intensive firms. Technovation 36-37: 77-89.

Raykov Tenko y Penev Spiridon. (2010). Testing multivariate mean collinearity via latent variable modelling. The British Journal Of Mathematical And Statistical Psychology 63:481-490.

Rothaermel, Frank T. y Alexandre, María Tereza. (2009). Ambidexterity in Technology Surcing: The Moderating Role of Absorptive Capacity. Organization Science 20(4): 759-780.

Purchase, Sharon, Kumm, Christina y Olaru, Doina. (2016). Paths, events and resource use: New developments in understanding innovation process. Industrial Marketing Management 58: 123-136.

Rodríguez, Gustavo, Sanabria, Néstor, Reyes, Aura, Ochoa, Andrea y Altamar, Leonardo. (2017). Análisis de la capacidad de absorción en la empresa: Una revisión de literatura. Semestre Económico 20(43): 139-160.

Rowley, Jennifer, Baregheh, Anahita y Sambrook, Sally. (2011). Towards an innovation-type mapping tool. Management Decision 49(1): 73-86.

Salazar, Fernando, Cavazos, Judith, Poch, Jordi y Santos, Felipe. (2014). Cognition of Industrial Innovation in Latin America: Advances and Challenges. Journal of technology management & innovation 9(1): 148-157.

Schmidt, Tobias y Rammer, Christian. (2007). Non technological and technological innovation: Strange bedfellows? Discussion paper 07-052. ZEW. Centre for European Economic Research 07-052: 1-47.

Sempere, Ripoll Francisca. (2010). Un análisis de la capacidad de absorción como determinante clave de la capacidad innovadora en las PyMEs. Evidencia empírica para el sector metal-mecánico. Tesis doctoral Departamento de Organización de Empresas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.

Sørensen, Jesper B. y Stuard, Toby E. (2000). Aging, obsolesce, and organizational innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly 45(1): 81-112.

Spithoven, André., Clarysse, Bart y Knockaert, Mirjam. (2011). Building absorptive capacity to organize inbound open innovation in traditional industries. Technovation 31(1): 10-21.

Teece, David J. y Pisano, Gary. (1994). The dynamic capabilities of firms: An introduction. Industrial and Corporate Change 3(3): 537-556.

Teece, David J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal 28(13): 1319-1350.

Teece, David; Peteraf, Margaret y Leih, Sohvi. (2016). Dynamic Capabilities and Organizational Agility: Risk, Uncertainty and Entrepreneurial Management in the Innovation Economy. California Management Review (58): 13-35.

Todorova, Gergana y Durisin, Boris (2007). Absorptive capacity: Valuing a reconceptualization. Academy of management review, 32 (3): 774-786.

Tseng, Chun‐Yao y Goo, Yeong‐Jia Jo (2005). Intellectual capital and corporate value in an emerging economy: empirical study of Taiwanese manufacturers. R&D Management 35(2): 187-201.

Van den Bosch, Frans A. J., Volberda, Henk W. y de Boer, Michiel (1999). Coevolution of firm absorptive capacity and knowledge environment: organizational forms and combinative capabilities. Organization Science 10(5): 551-568.

Vega-Jurado, Jaider, Gutiérrez-Gracia, Antonio y Fernández-De-Lucio, Ignacio. (2009). La Relación entre las Estrategias de Innovación: Coexistencia o Complementariedad. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation 4(3): 74-88.

Volberda, H., Foss, N y Lyles, M. (2010). Absorbing the concept of absorptive capacity: how to realize its potential in the organization field. Organization science, 21(4), 931-951.

Wang, Hai-long., Wu, Chung-you y Li, Wen-Chao. (2007). Environmental Uncertainty, Discontinuous Innovation and New Venture Performance: An Exploratory Meta-Study and Review. International Conference on Management Science and Engineering ICMSE 2007. 1964-1969.

Zahra, Shaker A, y George, Gerard. (2002). Absorptive capacity: a review, reconceptualization, and extension. Academy of Management Review 27(2): 185-203.

Zollo, Maurizio y Winter, Sidney G. (2002). Deliberate learning and dynamics capabilities evolution. Organization Science 13(3): 339-351.

Yaseen, Saad G. (2020) Potential Absorptive Capacity, Realized Absorptive Capacity and Innovation Performance. En: Ahram T., Taiar R., Colson S., Choplin A. (Eds.) Human Interaction and Emerging Technologies. IHIET 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1018. Francia: Springer.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v11i23.2039


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Nova Scientia

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Nova Scientia is a multidisciplinary, electronic publication that publishes biannually in the months of May and November; it is published by the Universidad De La Salle Bajío and aims to distribute unpublished and original papers from the different scientific disciplines written by national and international researchers and academics. It does not publish reviews, bibliographical revisions, or professional applications.

Nova Scientia, year 11, issue 23, November 2019 – April 2020, is a biannual journal printed by the Universidad De La Salle Bajío, with its address: Av. Universidad 602, Col. Lomas del Campestre, C. P. 37150, León, Gto. México. Phone: (52) 477 214 3900, http://novascientia.delasalle.edu.mx/. Chief editor: Ph.D. Ramiro Rico Martínez. ISSN 2007 - 0705. Copyright for exclusive use No. 04-2008-092518225500/102, Diffusion rights via computer net 04 - 2008 – 121011584800-203 both granted by the Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor.

Editor responsible for updating this issue: Direction of Research Department of the Universidad De La Salle Bajío, last updated on November 30th, 2019.