Managing asymmetries in information flows and interaction between

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Studies of new product development have demonstrated the value of effective interaction between research and development (R&D) and manufacturing, but few studies also include service operations despite their growing importance. Building on in‐depth studies of two firms in the capital goods sector, the paper illustrates how the structural differences between the R&D‐manufacturing and R&D‐service interfaces result in serious information and interaction imbalances, and presents managerial means to handle these. The paper makes three contributions. First, it shows the value of moving beyond a dyadic perspective to studies of more complex structures involving triads of specialized functions. Second, the paper underlines the role of informational flows that can compensate for asymmetries in such triads and facilitate thoughtful trade‐off decisions. Third, the paper highlights the importance of creating conditions for integrated knowledge‐based approaches across functions, which involve the generation and sharing of new knowledge. The paper ends with an emerging management agenda to support such integrative efforts in complex product development projects.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2012

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