Communication intensity, goal congruence, and uncertainty in buyer-supplier new product development

Tingting Yan, Kevin Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Manufacturers involve suppliers in new product development in order to access knowledge and resources, but these benefits only occur with effective project-level integration. Adopting a contingency theory view, we develop hypotheses concerning how two integrative devices, intensive communication and congruent goals, influence project performance under various conditions of uncertainty. We test our theoretical model with a sample of 214 buyer-supplier joint new product development projects. Results suggest that communication intensity is positively associated with project performance when either task or relational uncertainty is high, but is also negatively associated with performance when task uncertainty is low. Goal congruence is positively associated with project performance, especially when either task uncertainty is low or relational uncertainty is high. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-542
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 2013


  • Communication
  • Contingency theory
  • Goal congruence
  • New product development
  • Supplier involvement
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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