Potential and Realised Acap

Published: 2021-06-17 09:47:29
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Potential ACAP (PACAP) enables the firm to be receptive to accessing and assimilating external knowledge (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Lane & Lubatkin, 1998). It represents an enterprise’s capability to value and access external knowledge, but does not guarantee its exploitation. Correspondingly, realised ACAP (RACAP) represents an enterprise’s transformation and exploitation capabilities that have hitherto been elucidated. Hence, RACAP depicts an enterprise’s ability to leverage its absorbed knowledge.
PACAP and RACAP portray separate albeit complementary roles. Both subsets of ACAP perpetually coexist and fulfil a pertinent, but insufficient condition to buttress enterprise performance. For example, it is impossible for enterprises to exploit knowledge without initially gaining access to it. Likewise, enterprises are able to gain access to knowledge and assimilate it, but might be bereft of the capability to transform and exploit it – for guaranteeing their sustained entrepreneurial growth endeavours. Hence, a high-level of PACAP does not necessarily guarantee enhanced enterprise performance. RACAP pertains to the transformation and exploitation of the assimilated knowledge – by integrating it into an enterprise’s operations and as such, buttress its performance.Herein, the ratio of RACAP to PACAP is termed as the efficiency factor (η) (e.g.,). The efficiency factor implies that enterprises vary in their ability to create value from their internal knowledge-based resources – as reflected by the variations in their capabilities to transform and exploit these knowledge-based resources. In enterprises endowing a high-level of efficiency factor, RACAP would most likely be in equilibrium with PACAP. Noting that sustained entrepreneurial growth realisations are predominantly realised via RACAP (Grant. 1996a,b), enterprises that attain or maintain a high-level of efficiency factor are positioned to buttress their performance.
In this respect, enterprises nurture improvisational learning skills that differ from their innovation implementation skills. Thus, for instance, some enterprises may possess a well-placed ingenuity to comprehend complex technically related impediments, but comparatively not as savvy in translating such knowledge into product innovation strategies (Baker et al., 2003). This argument corroborates the necessity to differentiate between the capabilities of gaining access to and assimilating knowledge (PACAP), and capabilities of transforming and exploiting knowledge (RACAP). Respectively, this dynamic interplay would account for the efficiency with which enterprises simultaneously leverage PACAP and RACAP.
The theoretical distinction between PACAP and RACAP is fundamental in evaluating their unique effects to an enterprise’s ability in being in an auspicious capacity to amplify the effective management of accessed new market and technological knowledge resources (in tacit and explicit form) – derived from their varied alliance portfolio partners. Such that, firstly, this distinction sheds light on why some enterprises are more efficient than others – in appropriating ACAP. Specifically, in spite of the significance of PACAP, RACAP is the primary source of buttressing performance. Differentiating PACAP and RACAP unveils that some enterprises are inefficient in leveraging their PACAP, hence – are incapable of buttressing performance. Additionally, it illuminates the differing ways in which these two components contribute towards ascertaining an enterprise’s successfully enhanced entrepreneurial growth. Secondly, exogenous influences could differentially both influence PACAP and RACAP, a notion that highlights the importance of managerial roles in nurturing and harvesting these two ACAP components (). Thirdly, making inherent distinctions between PACAP and RACAP illuminates upon the foundations for observing and examining the fluid and non-linear paths that enterprises could follow in building their core competencies. This operationalization is well highlighted within the earlier forwarded efficiency factor conceptualisation, which is further explicated, in the following.

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