Bibliometric analysis of absorptive capacity

Indri Dwi Apriliyanti, Ilan Alon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

232 Scopus citations


This study contributes to our understanding of absorptive capacity (AC) by reviewing AC articles systematically using two types of blibliometric co-citation analysis – bibliometric co-citation and bibliometric cartography – for the last 25 years. In total, we analyzed 336 articles (using HistCite) and 2088 articles (using VOSviewer), respectively, finding five research streams in AC: (1) intra-organizational learning; (2) inter-organizational learning; (3) knowledge transfer; (4) dynamic capability; and (5) micro-foundations. This integrative literature review of AC adds to the categorization of the literature, links the international business research to AC, and provides promising future research directions. Our study gives detailed information about the development of each research stream by measuring the number of publications in each stream over 25 years using bibliometric cartography analysis. Based on the literature, we propose 26 future research questions for these five research streams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-907
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-citation
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Meta-literature review
  • Micro-foundation
  • Organizational learning


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