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Rapid technological change, growing technological complexity and shortening product life cycles increasingly force companies to source technologies externally. One means of building up competencies and fostering innovation based on external resources such as knowledge is through the acquisition of technology-based companies. However as literature and practice have shown, technologically motivated and intensive acquisitions are highly vulnerable to failure. One of the main reasons for this value destruction lies in the miscarried and inappropriate integration of the technology-based company after the acquisition.

Based on eight in-depth case studies on technology intensive acquisitions in multi-national technology-based companies this paper aims to identify the main causes of failure in internalizing external knowledge during the integration of technology intensive acquisitions. It was derived that a lack of integrative decision-making, of systemic processes and of a holistic change of both companies during the integration hinders successful knowledge sourcing through acquisitions. Based on these findings, a concept for integration planning which is tailored towards the specific characteristics of technology intensive acquisitions is proposed. This concept is embedded in the acquisition process and encompasses the development of an appropriate integration strategy and the determination, assessment and planning of the required integration projects thus fostering successful knowledge sourcing.