|The concept and nature of the concept of organizational Absorptive Capacity has generated much research in the Strategic Management, Organizational, and Information Systems literature. Its classification as an organizational asset vs. organizational capability has spurred much debate, and the information systems literature has highlighted the need for further research into how IT impacts, and is impacted by, firm Absorptive Capacity. This dissertation research investigates firm Absorptive Capacity from the capabilities perspective and at the organizational level. Specifically, this research investigates the structure underlying Absorptive Capacity and hypothesizes linear relationships constructs previously researched in the literature as being related to the gathering and application of knowledge, a core concept of Absorptive Capacity. Technology Learning routines, IT Innovation Mindfulness processes and traits, IT Infrastructure Flexibility, and the IT Dynamic Capabilities of the firm are posited as the operationalized processes driving firm Absorptive Capacity, and the hypothesized relationship between them tested.
To test the study model, a Pilot study and Full study was conducted. The study measurement instrument, developed using measures from prior studies, was tested and refined using results from the Pilot study. In the first phase of this research study, 5000 IT professionals, Chief Executive Officers, and Small Business Owners, along with additional IT professionals in the Southeastern United States, were administered the Pilot Study Survey Instrument, generating 109 complete responses. The refined instrument was then administered to 18,833 top IT Executives of firms, generating 229 complete survey responses. Measurement and Structural models were assessed in each phase, and the hypothesized relationships tested, with results suggesting support for all four study hypotheses. Study results have direct implications for both the research literature investigating the nature of the theorized constructs, as well as their relationship to Absorptive Capacity as a whole, as well as practitioners attempting to improve their firm’s ability to innovate using technology. Results and implications are discussed, along with limitations to the study’s generalizability and areas for potential future research.