The effects of formal and informal communication between marketing and R&D managers during new product development projects
Effective cross-functional integration between Marketing and R&D functions is considered essential to achieve key NPD outcomes. To achieve this integration, functional specialists need to communicate effectively with one another to achieve their respective task goals. This paper examines the role of two forms of interpersonal communication, formal and informal, on three key NPD outcome variables¾NPD success, perceived relationship effectiveness, and interpersonal collaboration. The relationships between these variables are tested in a structural model using PLS. Data was collected from 184 R&D Managers in Australia who worked on NPD projects. Our results show that both formal and informal communication have a positive effect on NPD success and on Marketing Manager/R&D Manager working relationships. This study provides empirical support for the proposition that whilst formal communication between managers is important in NPD projects, managers should also be aware that informal communication should also be encouraged, as it has strong positive effects on NPD project outcomes.