IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Effects of R&D Team Co-location on Communication Patterns among R&D, Marketing, and Manufacturing

  • Christophe Van den Bulte

    (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6371)

  • Rudy K. Moenaert

    (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Ghent, Hoveniersberg 4, 9000 Ghent, Belgium)

Registered author(s):

    Reducing the physical distance among R&D engineers and between R&D and marketing is widely believed to result in more frequent communication, and hence higher product development performance. However, the empirical evidence for the effect of co-location on communication frequency is problematic for two reasons: (1) the evidence often features either little contextual realism or doubtful internal validity, and (2) the analysis does not deal with the statistical problems typical of network data. Our study avoids the first problem by using sequential network data collected from a quasi-experiment at an industrial company that regrouped its R&D teams into a new facility. We avoid the second problem by using Wasserman and Iacobucci's (1988) method for the statistical analysis of sequential network data. Our results show that communication among R&D teams was enhanced after co-locating these teams. Surprisingly, communication frequency between R&D and marketing was not affected by the increased physical distance. This may suggest that business procedures accompanying the relocation prevented a widening gap between R&D and marketing. Alternatively, it may indicate that the effect of co-location depends on the content and medium of the communication flows.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 44 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 11-Part-2 (November)
    Pages: S1-S18

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:11-part-2:p:s1-s18
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:11-part-2:p:s1-s18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.