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Information Leaders in Product Development Organizational Networks: Social Network Analysis of the Design Structure Matrix

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2 Author(s)
D. A. Batallas ; Dept. of Ind. & Enterprise Syst. Eng., Illinois Univ., Urbana, IL ; A. A. Yassine

Many models of Product Development (PD) are concerned with managing the decomposition and integration of tasks, teams and subsystems transforming a conceptual idea into a finished product. Specifically, a PD process is formed of cross-functional teams continuously exchanging information on specified tasks to integrate the product's final structure. Recently, it has been shown that large PD networks (e.g., tasks, teams, or components) follow a Scale Free structure. That is, each PD network included hubs that control information flow. Nevertheless, there is no literature on the implications of these findings on PD management. As a consequence, the objective of this paper is two-folded. First, we examine a set of mathematical measures such as centrality and brokerage used in Social Networks Analysis (SNA) to identify critical players in PD networks. Second, we link these findings to insights and recommendations for the management of complex PD organizational networks; in particular, detection and role designation of information leaders based on the given PD network structure

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 4 )