Purpose - This research aims to identify various organizational-level factors influencing support for cross-functional new product development (NPD) teams. Design/methodology/approach - A total of 2,500 questionnaires where mailed in 2003 to managers of product development from Canadian and US manufacturing organizations operating in the machinery, computer, electronic product, electrical equipment, and transportation equipment manufacturing industrial sectors. A total of 269 usable questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 11.1 percent. Findings - Results of performing regression analysis indicate that the quality of communication between the functional disciplines involved in NPD activities, perceived risks and complexity of using cross-functional NPD teams, and the complexity of the organization's NPD activities all influence organizational support for cross-functional NPD teams. Based on the qualitative data, additional reasons why cross-functional NPD teams may not be supported in organizations are identified and discussed. Research limitations/implications - The major limitation of this study is that the respondents are NPD managers. These managers commented on the extent that support for cross-functional NPD teams exists at the team, departmental, and senior management levels. Future research should focus on gauging organizational support for cross-functional NPD teams by directly surveying team members, functional managers, and senior managers. Practical implications - This study identifies various organizational-level factors influencing support for cross-functional NPD teams. Originality/value - This research is of value to managers using or implementing cross-functional teams, as it indicates potential organizational-level factors that may facilitate or hamper the usage of such teams. To researchers, it provides a starting point in studying the determinants of support for cross-functional NPD teams, and cross-functional teams in general.

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Team Performance Management
Sprott School of Business

Boyle, T.A. (Todd A.), Kumar, U, & Kumar, V. (2005). Organizational contextual determinants of cross-functional NPD team support. Team Performance Management, 11(1-2), 27–39. doi:10.1108/13527590510584302