A project funded by ICCA with input from over 200 ICCA member organizations has enabled Leeds Beckett University’s International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality to develop an instrument to measure absorptive capacity of an organization. Absorptive capacity is the ability to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit external knowledge for competitive advantage. Now companies in the meetings industry will also be able to monitor their absorptive capacity regularly, to track improvements over time and to compare their results with their peers.
Professor Rhodri Thomas of the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality, Leeds Beckett University, UK said, “There are many potential explanations for why some organisations are innovative and others are not. Factors such as entrepreneurial leadership, organisational culture and the management of knowledge are often cited as important variables. One of the most influential ideas to emerge over the past two decades, however, is the role absorptive capacity plays in innovation. The idea is that competitive organisations are not only able to process knowledge effectively to innovate but they also have the capacity to use information that does not directly fill an identifiable gap in knowledge.”
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said, “We were delighted that an ICCA member university wanted to tackle such a challenging research topic. Our industry is constantly talking about innovation, but there have been no objective tools available. Hopefully this innovative project is the start of a new way of thinking about this important issue.”
The meetings industry’s average Absorptive Capacity Score, as suggested by responses from 208 ICCA members, is 34. A score of 45 or more suggests a high level of absorptive capacity. This capability is highly influential in creating an innovative organisational culture.
The industry average score conceals a wide range from very low to very high scores, suggesting that some organisations could be significantly more effective in using external knowledge for competitive advantage whilst others are highly innovative.
How innovative is your organisation?
To calculate their absorptive capacity score, meetings industry organisations can complete the form in this interactive PDF and simply add up the results: http://www.iccaworld.com/dcps/doc.cfm?docid=1764.
They can then compare their score with the industry average and the industry leaders.
Download the ICCA Research Paper: How innovative is your organisation? – Including 4 things you could do to improve the absorptive capacity of your organisation: http://www.iccaworld.com/dcps/doc.cfm?docid=1766.