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Communication nets and uncertainty in R & D planning

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1 Author(s)
Connolly, T. ; Georgia Inst. Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA

This paper reports an empirical study of 115 participants in R & D planning in a large Federal Government agency. Two hypotheses were tested, examining the relationship between type of work planned and (a) the participants' perceived uncertainties and (b) the centralization of the decision-related communication net. The data indicate that perceived uncertainties tend to be lower, and communications nets more centralized, as work planned becomes more applied. Secondary findings indicate that increased decentralization of the decision-related communication net may be an adaptive response to organizational decision problems of high uncertainty. Further research is suggested, and some general implications for the working manager are identified.

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:EM-22 ,  Issue: 2 )