Can information technology bridge knowledge distance in organizational open innovation?An absorptive capacity perspective
Nowadays there is an increasing trend of leveraging on external knowledge for innovation, which is termed as open innovation. While open innovation can help organizations obtain complementary knowledge from collaborators, it is likely to have inherent challenges in knowledge absorption. The differences of interorganizational knowledge can seriously inhibit the ability of the focal organization to innovate via external knowledge. While the concept of open innovation has attracted significant attention, there remains a paucity of research on how information technology (IT) can address the knowledge absorption challenges. Drawing on absorptive capacity and organizational learning literature, this study examines the effects of interorganizational knowledge distance on organizational open innovation performance and different influential roles of four IT-enabled knowledge capabilities. Our study contributes to existing research by focusing on the interplay of knowledge distance and IT-enabled knowledge capabilities. Results of the study will also have important managerial implications for open innovation practitioners.