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Increasingly, small firms with a history tied to a specific geographic location are having their survival threatened by new and innovative web-based entrants. This paper considers the plight of such firms and proposes an alternative means to reflect on how they may or may not learn about such threats or opportunities. Adopting an evolutionary perspective, the construct absorptive capacity is used to highlight the deficiencies of current market orientation theory to explain the process of firmdoi:10.1108/14626000410551618 fatcat:ww7k3a37q5aybb736dtlqxzgsi