Developing novel insights and learning from past experience through applying a critical incident evaluation method?
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A resource-based perspective of organizations outlines the importance of developing new knowledge for the long-term prosperity of any organization. The ability to recognize the value of new information, acquire, assimilate, transform, and exploit it, namely the organization's absorptive capacity, has been explored by researchers in the context of commercial organizations. The concepts have to a much smaller extent been applied to public organizations. This paper explores the usefulness of the concepts of potential and realized absorptive capacity in public project organizations. By applying a method for exploring critical incidents in previous projects, the goal is to transform these experiences into learning and change in behavior for the organization. Our preliminary analysis suggest that the program succeeds in developing the organization's potential absorptive capacity through this method. However, more studies need to be done in order to further improve the methods, and confirm the effect and realized absorptive capacity.