Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Gene Sullivan


Absorptive Capacity, Hofstede's Cultural Orientations, Individual Absorptive Capacity, Organizational Learning, Resource Based View, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations


There is a growing need to understand the use of knowledge as a resource for small and medium sized firms (SMEs). SMEs are characteristically limited in their access to and possession of resources, forcing them to rely heavily on the ability to adjust to changes in market demands to stay competitive. The use of knowledge as a competitive resource is vital to SMEs and could prove a viable solution to the problem of discrepancies in competitive ability among SMEs and between SMEs and MNCs particularly when operating in global markets. The following quantitative survey methodology dissertation lends empirical support identifying the influence national culture has on an SMEs ability to identify, extract, absorb, translate and exploit knowledge for competitive means by using the leader or top management team of the firm as the conduit for national cultural values. Using an online based survey and multiple regression analysis, data was collected from a sample of Maryland SME leaders to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between the individual cultural orientations defined by Hofstede and the individual absorptive capacity of SME leaders. An extensive literary analysis illustrating the theoretical integration of national cultural values and the adoption of absorptive capacity in SMEs is followed by an overview of the research design, and a presentation of the findings.