Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity

B. Nooteboom, W.P.M. Vanhaverbeke, V.A. Gilsing, G.M. Duysters, A.J. Oord, van den

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

5 Citations (Scopus)
751 Downloads (Pure)


This paper tests hypotheses that in inter-firm alliances innovative performance is an inverted-U shaped function of cognitive distance, that the resulting optimal cognitive distance is higher for exploratory than for exploitative learning, and that optimal cognitive distance depends on absorptive capacity. Most hypotheses are confirmed for 994 alliances in several industries, in the period 1986-1996. The results indicate a new hypothesis that with more knowledge one needs larger cognitive distances to find novelty.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameECIS working paper series


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