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A question of (mis)alignment: Innovation mandates and absorptive capacity routines

Banerjee, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-8961-7223, Lampel, J. & Bhalla, A. (2019). A question of (mis)alignment: Innovation mandates and absorptive capacity routines. R&D Management, 50(2), pp. 227-238. doi: 10.1111/radm.12393


Research suggests that effective R&D requires the right combination ofinward-looking and outward-looking absorptive capacity routines. However, we do not have an adequate understanding of how these routines influence innovative output in R&D units with different mandates.In this paper, we argue that adopting an absorptive capacity routine would positively or negatively influence the R&D subsidiary’s innovative output, depending on whether the routine is aligned or misaligned with the subsidiary’s innovation mandate to ‘exploit’ existing knowledge or ‘explore’ new knowledge. We test this using data collected from a global packaged-software firm with 14 international R&D subsidiaries that implemented six major absorptive capacity routines in the period 2000-2010. Our research provides new insights for both scholars and practitioners in R&D management, by showing that balancing of absorptive capacity routines should be considered in light of innovation mandates of subsidiaries as well as the firm.Our analysis also provides insights on why decision-makers may still adopt misaligned routines.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Banerjee, A. , Lampel, J. and Bhalla, A. (2019). A question of (mis)alignment: Innovation mandates and absorptive capacity routines. R&D Management, which is published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: Innovation strategy, absorptive capacity routines, R&D mandates, technological innovation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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