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Innovation at Large

Managing Multi-Organization, Multi-Team Projects


Johanna Schönrok

Due to increasing complexity in new product development multi-organization, multi-team (MOMT) projects are becoming more common. They are formed in different industries like computer, automotive, aircraft, and space research. Since many of these projects still fail, more knowledge on the influences on performance in and of such projects is required in order to be able to manage them successfully. The author examines the influences of communication within and between teams on team and project performance, which in turn depends on applied design principles that structure and facilitate that information flow. Quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal that there are differential relations on the team and project level as well as for effectiveness and efficiency. Managerial implications are given of how to structure MOMT projects and the design problem-solving process and thereby facilitate the information flow within and between teams in order to make the teams and projects successful.


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7 Conclusions 131


. 131 7 Conclusions In this research NPD projects comprised of many different teams with members from different organizations (i.e., multi-organization, multi-team ‘MOMT’ projects) that develop complex new products were studied. These projects are becoming increasingly common because of the increasing complexity in NPD, but still many of them fail. Therefore, the main research interest is the successful performance of the projects’ many different teams separately (team performance – the local level) and in collaboration (project performance – the global level). A central aspect is the problem-solving communication within and among teams because team members and teams have to communicate to exchange and combine their diverse expertise required for the successful joint development of a complex new product. This communication can be structured and facilitated by a systematic design approach. To study these relations – presented in the preliminary conceptual model in Figure 1.2 in Chapter 1 – the following three main research questions were investigated: 1) What is the influence of problem-solving communication within and between teams on team and project performance in MOMT projects? 2) What is the influence of a systematic design approach on problem- solving communication within and between teams in MOMT projects? 3) Is there a difference in the studied relations between the local and global level of MOMT projects? To answer these research questions, for the first two questions sub-questions for the local (intrateam and extrateam) as well as global (interteam) level needed to be answered. The relations to be studied are presented in the respective refined conceptual models...

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