University–industry linkages and absorptive capacity: an empirical analysis of China's manufacturing industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We analyze the contribution of universities to innovative performance in China’s manufacturing sector. Our empirical analysis is based on a matched dataset comprising about 20 000 large and medium sized companies aggregated at the three-digit industry level and information on university knowledge output for 31 provinces between 1998 and 2004. We show that universities’ impact on commercial innovation varies with the type of activity performed and is contingent on the manufacturing sector’s investment in absorptive capacity. In addition, our results confirm organizational theory stating that there is a complementary relationship between capabilities to acquire and assimilate external knowledge on the one hand and the capacity to transform and exploit this knowledge on the other.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Social Sciences


  • China, Absorptive Capacity, University-Industry-Linkages
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-852
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch