Working Paper, Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark 105
During the last decades, a number of studies have been concerned with communication related to new product development. These have looked at either intra-organizational communication between departments or communication between new product development teams and external stakeholders such as customers or suppliers. Only little research, however, has combined internal and external stakeholder communication and explored the role of technology uncertainty on communication. The purpose of this study is to examine how technology uncertainty affects project manager communication behavior during new product development. We carried out an embedded case study of a major NPD project in the automation industry. The findings indicate that technology uncertainty is positively related to communication frequency between project manager and project stakeholders during the early phase of NPD project. In addition we found a negative association between technology uncertainty and the breadth and depth of communication between project manager and stakeholders in early phase of the NPD project. These findings indicate that under high technology uncertainty, managers of NPD projects modify their communication behavior not only with respect to how frequently they communicate with stakeholders, but also to which stakeholders they communicate and how deeply they engage different stakeholders in different phases of the new product development project.