The majority of studies on absorptive capacity (AC) underscore the importance of absorbing technological knowledge from other firms to create economic value. However, to preserve moral legitimacy and create social value, firms must also discern and adapt to (shifts in) societal values. A comparative case study of eight firms in the food industry reveals how organizations prioritize and operationalize the societal value health in product innovation while navigating inter- and intravalue conflicts. The value-sensitive framework induced in this article extends AC by explaining how technically savvy, economic value–creating firms diverge in their receptivity, articulation, and reflexivity of societal values.
- absorptive capacity
- corporate social responsibility
- food industry
- grand challenges
- responsible innovation