Resource title

Component connectivity, team network structure and the attention to technical interfaces in complex product development (RV of 2007/08/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 interfaces in complex product development projects. We hypothesize that the connectivity among product components and teamsÂ’ communication network structure significantly influence their attention to critical technical interfaces. We show that to effectively examine the role of component connectivity and team network structure it is essential to recognize the dual role that teams play as acquirers and providers of technical information during the design process. 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 the connectivity of product components pose capacity restrictions when teams are requested to provide attention to critical design interfaces while teams with sparse communication networks are more capable of aligning their communication patterns with the design interfaces of the components they design.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2007/2007-68.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved