Team member experiences in new product development: views from the trenches

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Abstract

Although cross-functional teams are often used for new product development (NPD), many companies struggle to implement them successfully. Through in-depth interviews with 71 team members from 18 companies in a variety of technology-based industries, this study focuses on the experiences of the people who actually do much of the work of NPD (team members) and explores their perceptions and attitudes about cross-functional team assignments. The purpose of our study is to identify the factors that influence and shape NPD team member experiences. Our results suggest that although NPD work can be rewarding and productive, NPD team members are often neglected by other team members, project leaders, and senior management. This sense of neglect has important implications for all of these constituencies, but particularly for senior management.

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