Studies of new product development have demonstrated the value of effective interaction
between research and development (R&D) and manufacturing, but few studies also include
service operations despite their growing importance. Building on in-depth studies of two
firms in the capital goods sector, the paper illustrates how the structural differences between
the R&D-manufacturing and R&D-service interfaces result in serious information and
interaction imbalances, and presents managerial means to handle these. The paper makes
three contributions. First, it shows the value of moving beyond a dyadic perspective to
studies of more complex structures involving triads of specialized functions. Second, the
paper underlines the role of informational flows that can compensate for asymmetries in
such triads and facilitate thoughtful trade-off decisions. Third, the paper highlights the
importance of creating conditions for integrated knowledge-based approaches across functions,
which involve the generation and sharing of new knowledge. The paper ends with an emerging management agenda to support such integrative efforts in new product development projects.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Vol. 42, no 4, 342-357 p.