Corporate universities (hrd conference)

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Presentation for the International HRD Conference 2010 in Pecs, Hungary.

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Corporate universities (hrd conference)

  1. 1. “CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES” MAKING A STRATEGIC CONTRIBUTION BY ENHANCING ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY WORKING PAPER DAAN ASSEN MSc MBA
  2. 2.  ntroduction I   ur research O   heoretical Co T ncept   ey concepts K   irst findings F
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. OUR RESEARCH IN BRIEF   Aim: understand the strategic contribution corporate universities can make to innovation in organisations   Research questions:   What is a corporate university and what models of corporate universities exist?   How can corporate universities play a strategic role in organisational learning?   How do corporate universities contribute to strategic innovation?   Methodology:   Literature research (stage 1)   Case studies (stage 2) – healthcare, industry   Quantitative research (stage 3) 4
  5. 5. THEORETICAL CONCEPT Potential absorptive capacity Corporate Organisation University Context Configuration Realised absorptive capacity
  6. 6. CORPORATE UNIVERSITY Advanced Knowledge Knowledge Training Department Backbone Factory (operational) (tactical) (strategical) Goal • Efficiency • Alignment • Competitive advantage Relation • Indirect, re-active • Direct, re-active • Direct, pro-active to strategy Activities •  Coordinating training •  Develop and rollout •  Strategic innovation activities learning initiatives in the corporation based on corporate via learning and strategy research Rademakers (2005)
  7. 7. ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY Knowledge Knowledge acquisition assimilation Knowledge exploitation Knowledge transformation Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Zahra & George, 2002 7
  8. 8. ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY Dimension Description Acquisition Refers to a firm’s capability to identify and acquire externally generated knowledge that is critical to its operations. Assimilation Refers to the firm’s routines and processes that allow it to analyse, process, interpret and understand information obtained from external sources. Transformation Refers to the firm’s capability to develop and refine the routines that facilitate combining existing knowledge and newly acquired assimilated knowledge. Exploitation Refers to the routines that allow firms to refine, extend, and leverage existing competencies or to create new ones by incorporating acquired and transformed knowledge into its operations. Zahra & George (2002) 8
  9. 9. FIRST FINDINGS   Corporate university is a misleading and ambiguous concept   Several typologies and development models for corporate universities exist   Models and typologies are descriptive and provide limited guidance to implementing a corporate university   Research into corporate universities from a strategic management perspective is lacking (e.g. contribution to strategic innovation)   Absorptive capacity seems to be an interesting concept to measure a corporate universities contribution to strategic innovation   Absorptive capacity concept has an external orientation, although a broader measurement instrument exists (Brettel et al, 2009) 9
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