Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the micro-level antecedents of absorptive capacity (ACAP) based on the multilevel perspective of learning capabilities in asymmetric joint project engineering teams constituted by local employees and expatriates. Design/methodology/approach: The authors integrated the micro-foundational and multilevel learning theories to delineate the individual and team dimensions of ACAP. Using structural equation modelling, the authors tested the hypothesized relationships among the underlying individual determinants and multilevel dimensions of ACAP. The data were collected from a sample of 248 local employees from 76 joint project engineering teams in the Nigerian upstream oil industry. Findings: ACAP entails individual and team capabilities, which depend on prior experience and need for cognition. The creation of shared understanding is essential for the transition of an individual’s knowledge assimilation capability into team’s knowledge utilization capability. Originality/value: This study contributes to extant understanding of the multilevel perspective of learning capabilities, i.e. ACAP in a knowledge intensive team like joint project engineering.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Absorptive capacity
- Learning capability
- Need for cognition
- Prior experience
- Joint project engineering team
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)