International Journal of Business and Economics

International Journal of Business and Economics
Volume 21, No. 3

December, 2022
Top Management Signaling, Conflict Management and NPD Success
Elias Kyriazis
Wollongong School of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia
Les W. Johnson
School of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Paul Couchman
School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Australia
This paper examines how effective top management are as a linkage mechanism during new product development (NPD) projects by examining their effect on conflict behaviors and new product success. The paper discusses the development and empiric testing a model (using PLS) with survey data from both sides of the interface (marketing managers, n=145, technically trained counterparts, n = 184). Top management are indeed an effective linkage mechanism driving positive conflict behaviors and reducing destructive working behaviors between the key NPD actors, highlighting that they indeed have a significant role in outlining the rules of engagement for their functional managers to follow among themselves when working on NPD projects. Interestingly, technically trained managers are more sensitive to top management signaling behaviors and project interest than their marketing counterparts. The paper shows how top management activity during NPD projects can impact conflict and eventual NPD success.
Keywords:Signaling, Conflict, Innovation, Linkage Mechanisms, Cross-Functional.
JEL Classifications:L16, L80, L64.