New growth theory addresses the important role of knowledge in regional economic growth. However, knowledge is not always commercially exploited. The obstacles preventing knowledge commercialization are known as the knowledge filter. The literature has identified entrepreneurship as a mechanism of overcoming the knowledge filter. This article further argues that absorptive capacity is another effective factor that can solve the knowledge filter puzzle. To test this hypothesis, we introduce a new approach to measuring regional absorptive capacity and, via exploratory factor analysis, identifies two types of absorptive capacity: cognitive capacity and technical capacity. Multivariate analysis finds a significant moderating role of cognitive capacity (and to a lesser extent technical capacity) in the impact of knowledge on regional economic performance and therefore supports absorptive capacity as an effective mechanism for the penetration of the knowledge filter. The empirical results also provide additional evidence on the role of entrepreneurship in commercializing new knowledge and penetrating the knowledge filter.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2016
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