|Title:||Ties that bind : how social networks affect new product development team performance|
|Subject:||Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations|
New products -- Management
Teams in the workplace
|Department:||Faculty of Business|
|Pages:||viii, 113 pages|
|Abstract:||This thesis sought to conceptually compare the two network structure perspectives of closed networks, characterized by dense and redundant ties (Coleman, 1988), and open networks, described by R. S. Burt (1992) as networks that consist of unique and non-redundant ties and to empirically examine how these types of network structures impact team performance. In particular, this research focused on how the closed and open networks affected the relationship between a cross-functional new product development team and its external ties with customer. In addition, this paper examines the moderating effect of a team's tie strength and network centrality on the number of external ties on team performance. This research used the fuzzy front end of a cross functional team in new product development within a large multinational firm as its empirical setting. A fuzzy front end is where information is shared, ideas generated, and reviews and collaborations conducted that ultimately lead to new product development plans for execution. The use of cross functional teams and a fuzzy front end process have shown to have a significant effect on team performance and, by its dynamic multifunctional nature, makes an excellent setting for this research. Two types of customer ties were measured: the end user who is ultimately the product consumer and the retailer customer who provides the channel for distribution. The results indicated that the two customer ties are not the same with each having different degrees of benefit on product success. Interestingly, the moderating effects of a closed and open network position on team members with customer ties had no or negative effect on product performance. Similar results were shown when the team's network density and centralization was considered. Given that the main effects for user and retailer ties were significantly different, but both ties had similar effects when considering team members' network position and teams' network structure indicates, there is more to the interaction than simply the ties themselves. Other factors such as tie content or the core/peripheral position of the connecting members needs further study.|
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