The nature of cross-functional relationships during NPD projects has received considerable research attention with an emphasis on achieving successful integration. To achieve this functional integration new product development activities often require functional specialists to communicate with one another to achieve their respective task goals. This study examines the frequency of communication within NPD projects as reported by R&D Manager from 184 Australian NPD projects. We find that informal methods of communication have a positive relationship with three key NPD outcome variables such as perceived relationship effectiveness, interpersonal collaboration and NPD project success. This study provides empirical support for the proposition that while formal communication methods are useful in NPD activities the communication process should not be overly formalized and thus prevent informal communication to occur between managers.
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