Knowing, power and materiality: a critical review and reconceptualization of absorptive capacity

Marabelli, Marco and Newell, Sue (2014) Knowing, power and materiality: a critical review and reconceptualization of absorptive capacity. International Journal Of Management Reviews, 16 (4). pp. 479-499. ISSN 1468-2370

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Abstract

Most studies on absorptive capacity (AC) are based on assumptions that are characteristic of viewing knowledge from an epistemology of possession (knowledge is possessed by individuals and is transferrable). However, the literature on managing knowledge (or better knowledge work) acknowledges also an epistemology of practice (knowledge is unpredictable and dynamic and constituted in and through practice). Moreover, the literature on AC is relatively silent on the relationship between knowledge and power. In this paper, the authors argue that the AC construct should be interpreted in light of the possession and the practice perspectives of knowledge and power. The analysis includes a systematic literature review of AC that supports the authors' claims and, based on this, they suggest an interpretation of the construct that takes into account knowledge–power relationships. This review and theorizing contribute to a richer and processual view of AC.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Janet Snow
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2014 11:01
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2015 13:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49559
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