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Component modularity, team network structure and the attendance to technical interdependences in complex product development

Author: Sosa, Manuel E. ; Rowles, Craig M. ; Gargiulo, MartinINSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour ; Technology and Operations Management ; Technology and Operations Management Series: Working Paper ; 2006/43/TOM/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2006.Language: EnglishDescription: 37 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: The development of complex products poses substantial operational and organizational challenges to established firms. Previous research has shown that coordinating technical interdependences 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 ability of teams to attend to technical interdependences in complex product development projects. We hypothesize that components' attributes, such as modularity and redesign, and teams' communication network structure significantly influence their attention to technical interdependences. 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 although teams' communication network structure plays a critical role in their ability to attend to interdependences, its impact is moderated by the modularity and redesign of product components. Next title: Component modularity, team network structure, and the attention to technical interdependencies in complex product development (RV of 2006/4 - Sosa, Manuel E.;Gargiulo, Martin;Rowles, - 2007 - INSEAD Working Paper
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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 interdependences 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 ability of teams to attend to technical interdependences in complex product development projects. We hypothesize that components' attributes, such as modularity and redesign, and teams' communication network structure significantly influence their attention to technical interdependences. 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 although teams' communication network structure plays a critical role in their ability to attend to interdependences, its impact is moderated by the modularity and redesign of product components.

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