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Innovative Performances of Agricultural Research Institutes in Sri Lanka: The Relevance of Knowledge Sourcing and Absorptive Capacity for Innovation Performances

Silva K.N.N.


This paper explores the relationship between external knowledge sources and absorptive capacity on the one hand and the innovative performance of agricultural research and development institutes in Sri Lanka. Following the literature, we first identify the different types of knowledge sources available to research and development institutions and analyse the ease with which they can access them. The institutions also acquire external knowledge from publications and by attending conferences. Secondly, we test and see whether external knowledge sources lead to higher innovation performance. Based on survey data, our empirical results show that institutes with fewer departments are more innovative and that higher organizational absorptive capacities result in a higher level of innovative output. Interestingly, formal and reliable knowledge sources contribute to higher innovative performance. Anyhow, higher absorptive capacity without engagement in external interaction reduces the innovative performance of research and development institutes. Moreover, this empowers agricultural research and development institutes to engage in more collaborative research approaches to achieve higher levels of innovation performance.


KEYWORDS: Absorptive capacity, Innovative performance, Knowledge transfer