Resource title

Component modularity, team network structure, and the attention to technical interdependencies in complex product development (RV of 2006/43/TOM/OB)

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The development of complex products poses substantial operational and organizational challenges to established firms. Previous research has shown that coordinating technical interdependencies is vital for the successful development of complex products. We integrate research streams in product development and organizational theory to study the determinants of the capability of teams to attend to technical interdependencies in complex product development projects. We hypothesize that the lack of connectivity among product components (i.e., component modularity), and teams' communication network structure significantly influence their attention to critical technical interdependencies. We test our hypotheses by examining the network of components of a large commercial aircraft engine and the technical communication network structure of the organization that designs it. Our findings suggest that both component modularity and the density of the team's communication network play crucial roles in the capability of teams to attend to their critical interdependencies. Moreover, we found that communication network density is less beneficial for teams designing more modular components.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2007/2007-08.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved