Towards a kernel theory of external knowledge integration for high-tech firms: exploring a failed theory test

Jeroen Kraaijenbrink*, Fons Wijnhoven, Aard Groen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Designing information systems (ISs) requires a thorough understanding of the organizational knowledge processes in which these systems are used. Although much is known about internal organizational knowledge processes, the understanding of external knowledge processes is less developed. Hence, this paper reflects an attempt to operationalize and test a model of the process of external knowledge integration (EKI), consisting of an identification, acquisition, and utilization stage. We utilize high-technology based firms from a variety of high-tech categories including nanotechnology based firms since these firms have critical knowledge integration needs. The results of an international survey, with responses of 317 high-tech companies, suggest that not these three EKI-stages, but four organizational effectiveness functions (goal attainment, pattern maintenance, adaptation, and integration) account for most variation in responses. These findings seem to imply that ISs that are to support the EKI-process should be designed according to organizational effectiveness functions rather than to EKI-stages. It is proposed that each organizational effectiveness function imposes different requirements on ISs because users interact differently with IS in each function
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1233
Number of pages19
JournalTechnological forecasting and social change
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Knowledge integration
  • Organizational effectiveness functions
  • Factor analysis
  • High-tech SMEs


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