Small Business Economics

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 185–197 | Cite as

An absorptive capacity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship

  • Haifeng Qian
  • Zoltan J. Acs


The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship identifies new knowledge as a source of entrepreneurial opportunities, and suggests that entrepreneurs play an important role in commercializing new knowledge developed in large incumbent firms or research institutions. This paper argues that, knowledge spillover entrepreneurship depends not only on new knowledge but more importantly on entrepreneurial absorptive capacity that allows entrepreneurs to understand new knowledge, recognize its value, and commercialize it by creating a firm. This absorptive capacity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship is tested using data based on U.S. metropolitan areas.


Entrepreneurship Knowledge spillover Absorptive capacity Human capital 

JEL Classifications

L26 O31 J24 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban AffairsCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.School of Public PolicyGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA

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