Information Technology and Management

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 21–35 | Cite as

Impact of absorptive capability on software process improvement and firm performance



Software process improvement (SPI) is a continual organizational learning process with the goal of obtaining and sustaining competitive advantage in rapidly developing business and software environments. However, no research has focused on a firm’s capability to increase effective external SPI knowledge acquisition and utilization. Thus, this study uses dynamic capability theory in order to investigate empirically the capability of a firm to absorb external knowledge and achieve SPI. Specifically, we propose a research model and examine the relationships among a firm’s potential absorptive capability (PAC), realized absorptive capability (RAC), SPI success, and firm performance. In this regard, we surveyed 108 respondents in 56 SPI-certificated Taiwanese firms. We then tested our model using a partial least squares structural equation modeling technique. The results indicate that SPI success is significantly influenced by PAC through RAC. The results also suggest that absorptive capability is critical to SPI success and that the latter ultimately influences firm performance.


Software process improvement (SPI) success Dynamic capability Potential absorptive capability Realized absorptive capability Firm performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Business FacultyBeijing Normal University, ZhuhaiZhuhaiChina
  2. 2.Information ManagementNational Central UniversityJhongli, TaoyuanTaiwan

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