Advertisement

Digital Absorptive Capacity in Blockchain Start-ups

  • R. A. Chacón
  • A. C. PresseEmail author
Chapter
Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)

Abstract

The aim of this research is providing different audiences such as entrepreneurs, researchers, CEOs, strategic managers, and business owners with the information necessary about absorptive capacity and its relation to firm performance in the context of increasingly digitalized economy. The topic is of relevance as the acquisition of knowledge and its conversion into dynamic capabilities provides enterprises with the possibility to go through digital transition and transform the acquired knowledge into modified business models, innovative products, and upgraded services. Since the first crafting of absorptive capacity theory in the beginning of 1990s, there has been ample research on its application in medium and large companies. The contribution of this study is that it assesses the concept of absorptive capacity and its impact on firm performance in start-ups. The methodological approach involves quantitative data analysis using a survey applied to a sample of 44 blockchain start-ups measuring the following variables: acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation. We analyzed firm performance through a variety of concepts previously tested in other studies, sales growth, profit growth, growth in market share, and growth in return on capital, and found a positive relationship between AC and firm performance in blockchain start-ups. However, based on our findings, we cannot conclude that blockchain start-ups are more successful because of their AC. Therefore, we suggest further examination of items more specific to the demands of an increasingly digital economy.

Keywords

Absorptive capacity Firm performance Technology Start-ups Blockchain Digital transformation 

References

  1. Adams, H. (2016, August 22). Berlin tries to become the silicon valley of Europe. Forbes. Retrieved May 15, 2018 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/henriadams/2016/08/22/berlin-vies-to-become-the-silicon-valley-of-europe/#6c07724c615e
  2. Adcock, R. (2001). Measurement validity: A shared standard for qualitative and quantitative research. American Political Science Review, 95(3), 529–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ammous, S. (2018). The Bitcoin standard (1st ed.). Incorporated Newark: Wiley.Google Scholar
  4. Andrews, D., Nonnecke, B., & Preece, J. (2003). Conducting research on the Internet: Online survey design, development and implementation guidelines. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 16(2), 185–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Black, T. (1999). Doing quantitative research in the social sciences: An integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, D., & Stanley, J. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  7. Cheng-Few, L., Lee, J., & Lee, A. (2000). Statistics for business and financial economics, methods and applications (3rd ed.). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Chirico, F., Sirmon, D. G., Sciascia, S., & Mazzola, P. (2011). Resource orchestration in family firms: Investigating how entrepreneurial orientation, generational involvement, and participative strategy affect performance. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 5(4), 307–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, W., & Levinthal, D. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, 128–152.Google Scholar
  10. Courper, M. (2000). Web surveys: A review of issues and approaches. Public Opinion Quarterly, 64(4), 464–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. David, J. (2001). What is innovation and entrepreneurship? Lessons for larger organizations. Industrial and Commercial Training, 33(4), 135–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Engelen, A., Gupta, V., Strenger, L., & Brettel, M. (2015). Entrepreneurial orientation, firm performance, and the moderating role of transformational leadership behaviors. Journal of Management, 41(4), 1069–1097.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. European Commission. (2008). Small business act. Brussels: European Union.Google Scholar
  14. European Commission. (2015). Report on the results of public consultation on the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan Action Plan. European Commission.Google Scholar
  15. Field, A., Miles, J., & Field, Z. (2014). Discovering statistics using R. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. Firestone, W. A. (1987). Meaning in method: The rhetoric of quantitative and qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 16(7), 16–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Flatten, T., Engelen, A., Zahra, S., & Brettel, M. (2011). A measure of absorptive capacity: Scale development and validation. European Management Journal, 29(2), 98–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilbert, B., McDougall, P., & Audretsch, D. (2006). New venture growth: A review and extensión. Journal of Management, 32, 926–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gundry, L., & Welsch, H. (2001). The ambitious entrepreneur. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(5), 453–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hammersley, M. (1987). Some notes on the terms ‘validity’ and ‘reliability. British Educational Research Journal, 13(1), 73–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hernández-Perlines, F., Moreno-García, J., & Yáñez-Araque, B. (2017). Family firm performance: The influence of entrepreneurial orientation and absorptive capacity. Psychol Mark, 34(11), 1057–1068.Google Scholar
  22. Hinkin, T. (1998). A brief tutorial on the development of measures for use in survey questionnaires. Organizational Research Methods, 1(1), 104–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holtschke, D. (2018). Berlin startup hub: The rise to Europe’s startup capital. Amazon. Retrieved April 14, 2018, from www.amazon.com
  24. Hunt, S. D., Sparkman, R., & Wilcox, J. B. (1982). The pretest in survey research: Issues and preliminary findings. Journal of Marketing Research, 19(2), 269–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jamieson, S. (2004). Likert scales: How to (ab)use them. Medical Education, 38(12), 1217–1218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Johnson, D. (2001). What is innovation and entrepreneurship? Lessons for larger organisations. Industrial And Commercial Training, 33(4), 135–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Karimi, J., & Walter, Z. (2015). The role of dynamic capabilities in responding to digital disruption; A factor-based study of the newspaper industry. Journal of Management Information Systems, 32(1), 39–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kellermanns, F. W., Eddleston, K. A., Sarathy, R., & Murphy, F. (2012). Innovativeness in family firms: A family influence perspective. Small Business Economics, 38(1), 85–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kollman, P., Stöckmann, D., & Hensellek, S. (2016). European start up monitor report 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from European Start-up Monitor: http://europeanstartupmonitor.com/fileadmin/esm_2016/report/ESM_2016.pdf
  30. Kraus, S., Rigtering, J., Hughes, M., & Hosman, V. (2012). Entrepreneurial orientation and the business performance of SMEs: A quantitative study from the Netherlands. Review of Managerial Science, 6(2), 161–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Leiponen, A., & Helfat, C. (2010). Innovation objectives, knowledge sources, and the benefits of breath. Strategic Management Journal, 31(2), 224–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lemieux, V. (2016). Trusting records: Is blockchain technology the answer? Records Management Journal, 26(2), 110–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Leonard-Barton, D. (1995). Wellsprings of knowledge: Building and sustaining the sources of innovation. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  34. Liao, J., Welsch, H., & Stoica, M. (2003). Organizational absorptive capacity and responsiveness: An empirical investigation of growth-oriented SMEs. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(1), 63–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Masters, J. (1974). The relationship between number of response categories and reliability of Likert-type questionnaires. Journal of Educational Measurement, 11(1), 49–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nakamoto, S. (2008). Bitcoin: A peer-to peer electronic cash system. Retrieved May 20, 2018, from http://www.bitcon.org
  37. Naldi, L., Nordqvist, M., Sjöberg, K., & Wiklund, J. (2007). Entrepreneurial orientation, risk taking, and performance in family firms. Family Business Review, 20(1), 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Reis, J., Amorim, M., Melão, N., & Matos, P. (2018). Digital transformation: A literature review and guidelines for future research. In Á. Rocha, H. Adeli, L. P. Reis, & S. Costanzo (Eds.), Trends and advances in information systems and technologies world CIST’18 2018. Naples: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. Scott, M. (2018). Technology start-ups take root in Berlin. The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/technology-start-ups-take-root-in-berlin/
  40. Smith, R. (2008). The evolution of innovation. Research-Technology Management, 5(3), 59–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Soluk, J. (2018). Digital transformation in family owned Mittelstand firms: A dynamic capabilities perspective. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2018(1), 11294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tapscott, J. (2018). How blockchains could change the world. Mackinsey. Retrieved March 24, 2018, from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/how-blockchains-could-change-the-world
  43. Tsai, W. (2001). Knowledge transfer in intraorganizational networks: Effects of network position and absorptive capacity on business unit innovation and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44(5), 996–1004.Google Scholar
  44. Wales, W., Parida, V., & Patel, P. (2012). Too much of a good thing? Absorptive capacity, firm performance, and the moderating role of entrepreneurial orientation. Strategic Management Journal, 34(5), 622–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: A configurational approach. Journal of Business Venturing, 20(1), 71–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zahra, S., & George, G. (2002). Absorptive capacity: A review, reconceptualization, and extensión. Academy of Management Review, 27, 185–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grenke Centre for Entrepreneurial StudiesSRH Hochschule BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations