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What Fosters Individual-Level Absorptive Capacity in MNCs?: An Extended Motivation-Ability-Opportunity Framework
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Stockholm Sch Econ, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm Sch Econ, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm Sch Econ, Stockholm, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: MIR: Management International Review, ISSN 0938-8249, E-ISSN 1861-8901, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 93-129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Absorptive capacity has been marked as one of the most important capabilities of Multinational Corporations for effective management of knowledge. To address calls for research on micro-level origins of the concept, this paper focuses on the determinants of individual-level absorptive capacity. We examine the extent to which individuals' capability to recognize, assimilate and exploit new knowledge from the environment is shaped by different forms of work motivation (i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic), overall ability, exposure to diverse country contexts and personal characteristics. Drawing on and extending the Motivation-Ability-Opportunity framework, we develop and test a set of hypotheses. Using a unique dataset collected from 648 individuals in a multinational corporation, we show that individuals' intrinsic motivation and overall ability are the key antecedents of absorptive capacity. In contrast, extrinsic motivation does not emerge as a significant predictor. We find that past international assignments to distant countries could be detrimental to individuals' absorptive capacity. However, our results suggest that for those individuals who are open to new experiences, assignments to distant countries become useful opportunity for absorptive capacity development. These findings contribute to existing literature by showing effects of alternative types of motivation and underscoring the importance of using selective assignment when considering exposure to diverse country context as a tool for employee capability development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER HEIDELBERG , 2019. Vol. 59, no 1, p. 93-129
Keywords [en]
Absorptive capacity, Distance, Extrinsic motivation, International assignments, Intrinsic motivation, Motivation-Opportunity-Ability framework, Openness to experience
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-379279DOI: 10.1007/s11575-018-0367-xISI: 000459406000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-379279DiVA, id: diva2:1296391
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius FoundationAvailable from: 2019-03-15 Created: 2019-03-15 Last updated: 2019-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Yildiz, H. Emre

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