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This research investigates the impact of the team and project leader empowerment in the 'network focal company' (the main company in the network) on the integration of the NPD process across a network of strategic partners, and the subsequent effects on project performance. The paper proposes a contingency model and develops a condition of fit between contextual conditions that characterize the high-tech NPD project and the extent to which the project team and leader are empowered. The model suggests that the efficient performance of the development project (shortest, cheapest, and highest quality possible) is contingent on how well the actual intensity level of integration fits the required intensity level. The research also indicates that the required intensity of integration between the focal company and the project strategic partners in uncertain and complex project is dominated by the development cycle time (DCT) of the project. Conversely, the actual intensity of integration is enabled by varying extent of team and leader empowerment, ranging from limited to significant.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Sept. 2006