Digital Absorptive Capacity in Blockchain Start-ups

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


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.


Absorptive capacity Firm performance Technology Start-ups Blockchain Digital transformation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grenke Centre for Entrepreneurial StudiesSRH Hochschule BerlinBerlinGermany

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