The study presents a longitudinal examination about dynamics and consequences of fit and misfit between formally ascribed design interfaces and informal communication networks in two large multi-institutional product development collaborations in space industry. Findings: (1) formally ascribed design interfaces and informal communication networks correlate only marginally. The main reason is that informal communication is much more dense than ascribed; (2) although the formally ascribed design interfaces change, the structure of informal communication remains largely stable throughout time; (3) the most intriguing finding is that this communicational misfit is associated with higher effectiveness, but, it negatively impacts the institutional unit's efficiency.
Research Policy, 2008, Vol 37, Issue 8, p. 1356-1370
Multi-institutional product development collaborations; Formal and informal networks; Design structure matrix; Effectiveness; Efficiency