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Absorptive and desorptive capacity-related practices at the network level – the case of SEMATECH



Previous research has predominantly conceptualized absorptive capacity as an intraorganizational phenomenon, primarily by means of quantitative methods. In contrast, this research develops a practice-based understanding of how an interorganizational network can engage in network absorptive and desorptive capacity-related (NAC and NDC respectively) activities. SEMiconductor MAnufacturing TECHnologies(SEMATECH) is an interorganizational network to develop innovative semiconductor manufacturing solutions globally. Based upon an in-depth case study of SEMATECH we add to the literature as follows: first, we introduce NAC and NDC, venturing beyond the organization or dyad as the unit of analysis. Second, we adopt a practice perspective in order to illustrate how SEMATECH is able to engage in NAC- and NDC-related activities, primarily by means of three practices, that is, congregating, roadmapping and offering access. These practices re-inform each other, allowing SEMATECH, in effect, to coordinate the network's knowledge-related activities with regard to knowledge outside of the network.