Year

2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Management and Marketing - Faculty of Commerce

Abstract

The antecedents and consequences of 'interdepartmental working relations' have been examined in detail in the new product development (NPD) literature, however, less attention has been given to the relationship between functional managers at the interpersonal level. The study presented in this thesis developed and empirically tested a model of the antecedents and consequences of the working relationship between the Marketing Manager and R&D Manager at the NPD project level. By including interpersonal trust as a two-dimensional construct (affective and cognitive-based trust) and conceptualising it as a key mediating variable, the study provides great explanatory power regarding the interplay of important interpersonal dynamics such as communication frequency, quality of communication, functional conflict and interpersonal collaborative behaviour on the dependent variable of perceived relationship effectiveness. Further, the role that interpersonal politics play in shaping working relationships has not been previously addressed in the NPD literature and the new construct of 'Perceptions of the Marketing Manager as a Political Ally' was found to be one of the key antecedents of interpersonal trust and positive relationship dynamics. The data used to test the conceptual model was collected from 184 technically-trained respondents (e.g., R&D Managers and Engineers) from Australian firms predominantly involved in manufacturing activities. The model tested was found to be rich in meaning and explained 80.5% of the variance in Perceived Relationship Effectiveness thus providing a greater understanding of the complexities of the working relationship at the Manager level than previous conceptualisations.

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