Balancing creativity and time efficiency in multi-team R&D projects: The alignment of formal and informal networks

Jan Kratzer, Hans Georg Gemuenden, Christopher Lettl

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The business world is denoted by an increasing number of multi-team research and development (R&D) projects, however, managerial knowledge about how to run them successfully is scarce. The present study attempts to shed light at this kind of projects by investigating the alignment of formal and informal network structures and their effect on the challenge to balance project creativity and time efficiency. In order to analyze this issue data in two multiteam R&D projects in space industry are collected. There are two intriguing findings that are partly contradicting the state-of-the-art knowledge. First, formally ascribed design interfaces and informal communication networks overlap only marginally because the informal communication networks are characterized by many more linkages. Second, the weak overlap between formally ascribed design interfaces and the informal communication networks is inversely U-shaped associated with the team's creativity, whereas it negatively impacts the team's time efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538 - 549
JournalR&D Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008

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