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A guest lecture on "Role of absorptive capacity in new high-tech product development" at IME, IIT Kanpur

A guest lecture was organized by IME department on 8th September on “Role of Absorptive Capacity in New High-tech Product Development”. The speaker was Mr Shashi Shekhar Mishra, who is a doctoral candidate in marketing area at Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, and his doctoral research is in new high-tech product development process.

The seminar began with an introduction to technological innovations and their transformation into successful new products, which is indispensable for high-tech firms. Mr. Mishra said that the researchers and practioners have well recognized the importance of firm-level technology acquisition intent (TAI) for successful realization of new products across various high-tech industries. Extant literature suggests the role of firm’s dynamic capabilities on new high-tech product development (NPD) process. Higher firm-level absorptive capacity is prescribed to stimulate firm’s external knowledge acquisition and overall performance. However, he also said that hardly has any research ever been attempted to explain the effects of absorptive capacity on TAI in the NPD process. His study tries to address this research gap in the extant literature by first developing a theoretical framework through a focused literature survey that explains the relationships between absorptive capacity and TAI, and subsequent consequence of TAI on NPD process. This is followed by empirical validation of the theoretical framework by conducting a survey on 215 high-tech product marketing firms across the globe.

The results of the path analysis indicate that while absorptive capacity and organizational learning directly influences the firm’s TAI, there is no evidence from the results supporting the direct influence of firm size on the same. Furthermore, TAI positively affects readiness-to-design and found to mediate the relationship between its organizational antecedents and readiness-to-deign. In addition, the results of hierarchical regression analysis reveal that, contrary to prevailing wisdom, absorptive capacity reduces the perception of organizational learning from the acquisition of a new know-how. However absorptive capacity is found not to affect the firm size-TAI relationship in any way. The study results clearly established that the TAI by the firm leads to smooth readiness-to-design in new high-tech product development processes.

In all, the present research contributes significantly to the existing marketing literature by explaining the role of absorptive capacity on NPD process, and provided useful insights to the managers who are involved in the development of new high-tech products. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks from Prof S.C Mishra.

Contributed by:

Saurabh Awasthi,
MBA 1st Year, IIT Kanpur

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