Functions like R&D and marketing share common responsibilities in new product development, e.g. setting product goals, identifying opportunities for next generation products, or resolving engineering design and customer-need tradeoffs (Griffin & Hauser 1996, p. 192). In product development, the use of cross-functional teams (CFTs) provides a mean to establish a closer link between functions, and CFTs are considered to be a key factor to successful innovation (Griffin & Hauser 1996, Holland et al. 2000, McDonough 2000, Pinto & Pinto 1993).


Innovation Process Boundary Span Partial Little Square Analysis Organizational Infrastructure Boundary Management 
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  1. 1.
    Griffin (1997, p. 435) points out that “We have not yet been able to define the organization and infrastructure which best supports effective multifunctional teams over time and across projects.”Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The concept of organic and mechanistic organizations was initially developed by Burns & Stalker (1961).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Souder & Moenaert (1992, p. 497) follow a similar rationale. They consider innovation as a process of information uncertainty reduction. A high level of uncertainty during the planning stage is best reduced by informal procedures and decentralized decision-making structures, which enable project team members to exchange innovative information. After successfully having reduced technological, consumer-related and/ or competitive uncertainties, a formalized and centralized project infrastructure is assumed to contribute more to the success of the development stage. Whereas uncertainty reduction during the planning stage is related to the transfer of innovative information, (i.e. information that is helpful in problem solving, information on experimental, analytical and explanatory aspects), it is expected that the transfer of coordinative information, (i.e. information concerning the tasks and the time schedules assigned to team members and the output expected), will gain impact during the late stage of a project.Google Scholar

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