When do we really need interpersonal trust in globally dispersed new product development teams?
Article first published online: 27 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. R&D Management © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 42, Issue 1, pages 31–46, January 2012
How to Cite
Muethel, M., Siebdrat, F. and Hoegl, M. (2012), When do we really need interpersonal trust in globally dispersed new product development teams?. R&D Management, 42: 31–46. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9310.2011.00667.x
- Issue published online: 27 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 27 DEC 2011
Interpersonal trust refers to the willingness to make oneself vulnerable to the actions of another party. Trust is generally acknowledged as fostering knowledge exchange and thus contributing to new product development (NPD) team effectiveness. However, the conditions under which NPD teams come to rely more heavily on trust to facilitate effectiveness remain unclear. With burgeoning global collaboration on new product development, we analyze how the characteristics of global NPD teams, i.e., geographic dispersion, computer-mediated communication (e.g., e-mail, video-conferencing), team membership flexibility, and national diversity moderate the trust–effectiveness relationship. Our results show that trust is more important under the condition of geographic dispersion, computer-mediated communication, and national diversity. By specifying when trust influences NPD team effectiveness in globally dispersed teams, we discuss the theoretical implications and provide recommendations for management.