Open Source Companies’ Absorptive Capacity: from Business Model to Business Intention


  • Khaireddine Mouakhar Laboratoire Métis, Ecole de Management de Normandie
  • Nordine Benkeltoum


Absorptive capacity, business model, open source, intention, mixed methods research 


Absorptive capacity is a firm’s ability to identify, assimilate, transform and exploit external knowledge for value creation. The information systems literature has shown its critical role to create competitive advantages. This research studies the relationship between external environment exposure and the ability to create value based on external information. It re-examines the foundations of absorptive capacity through the business model framework. This research analyses absorptive capacity of 71 firms operating in a weak appropriability sector (open source). Using a mixed method research setting, it models how companies create and strategically maintain their absorptive capacity. The contribution of this article is twofold. First, it shows that firms that claim interacting the most with communities have a high probability to have a low absorptive capacity. Conversely, firms that pretend interacting the least with their environment have a high probability to have a high absorptive capacity. Secondly, this research argues that firm absorptive capacity is mainly explained by the intention that motivates environment interaction.


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How to Cite

Mouakhar, K., & Benkeltoum, N. (2020). Open Source Companies’ Absorptive Capacity: from Business Model to Business Intention. Systèmes d’Information Et Management (French Journal of Management Information Systems), 25(1), 47–88. Retrieved from



Empirical research