External search strategies remain ineffective without the ability of the firm to communicate and share internally what has been absorbed from the environment. However, most of the literature remains silent on the advantages (and disadvantages) firms may get when they combine internal integration mechanisms and innovative management practices into their efforts to search for external knowledge inflows with the aim of product innovation. To bridge this gap, this work has investigated the external knowledge search practices firms deploy to innovate their products, exploring the relationships among the use of such practices, some internal organizational characteristics and innovation performance. In so doing, the paper raises two key findings. First, there is a complementarity between the use of search practices and practices used to facilitate horizontal cross-functional integration and to encourage, address and manage employees' efforts in generating new solutions to technical or market issues in the front-end of innovation processes. Second, taking into consideration the complementarity between external search and such internal organization mechanisms allows unveiling a quadratic effect stemming from the use of search practices on innovation performance. This “complementarity lens” also allows us to explore different configurations for managing the front-end of innovation processes and their related outcome on the innovation process. In this regard, we found evidence of some “indifference zones”, where the effectiveness of the external search processes firms activate does not depend on the extent of the internal mechanisms firms use to absorb and articulate external knowledge.