Accepted paper:

Absorptive capacity, marketing capabilities, and innovation commercialisation in Nigeria

Authors:

Kehinde Medase (Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena)
Laura Barasa (University of Nairobi)

Paper short abstract:

The study examines how specialised capabilities including absorptive capacity and marketing capabilities influence innovation commercialisation in manufacturing firms in Nigeria. We hypothesise that absorptive capacity and marketing capabilities are positively associated with innovation performance.

Paper long abstract:

Purpose - This study investigates how specialised capabilities including absorptive capacity and marketing capabilities influence innovation commercialisation in manufacturing firms in Nigeria. We hypothesise that absorptive capacity measures including regional openness and formal training for innovation, and marketing capabilities encompassing new product marketing and marketing innovation are positively associated with innovation performance. Design/Methodology/Approach - We examine commercialisation of innovation within the profiting from innovation (PFI) and dynamic capabilities (DC) framework and use data from the 2012 Nigeria Innovation Survey to test our hypothesis by means of a Heckman sample selection model. Findings - We find that absorptive capacity measures comprising regional openness and formal training are positively associated with innovation performance. We also find that marketing capabilities as indicated by new product marketing and marketing innovation are positively associated with innovation performance. Practical implications - We conclude that regional openness and formal training are essential for intra-organisational and inter-organisational learning that underscores the importance of the degree of absorptive capacity in fostering innovation. In addition, our results give prominence to the importance of marketing capabilities in an innovative environment given their large effects on innovation performance. Originality/Value - This study fuses the PFI and DC framework to examine why innovating firms may not necessarily succeed. This area of study has received scant attention in sub-Saharan Africa given that extant literature focuses on value creation as opposed to value capture. Keywords: Absorptive capacity; commercialisation; formal training; innovation; manufacturing; marketing capabilities, Nigeria.

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