NPD Projects in Search of Top Management Support: The Role of Team Leader Social Capital
A number of studies have found that the performance of NPD projects greatly depends on the support they get from top management. However, research into why some projects get more support than others has been limited. The present paper takes a political approach to NPD, in which top management support is considered to be a function of a project leader’s ability to influence decision processes through personal relationships. Mobilizing the bridging perspective of social capital, we argue that project leaders need both strong ties to high-ranking others and sparseness in their networks. Vertical strong ties bring direct support and solidarity, resulting in improved access to resources and priority over other projects; sparseness provides exposure to the full range of information and interpretations in the organization, resulting in a more accurate picture of the political landscape and thus enabling the implementation of an appropriate influence strategy. A PLS analysis of a sample of 73 French project leaders involved in NPD projects provided support for our hypotheses. Hence, we contribute to a very recent stream of research showing that the structural and relational dimensions of social capital are complementary.
Copyright (c) 2012 Barthélémy Chollet, Sébastien Brion, Vincent Chauvet, Caroline Mothe, Michaël Géraudel
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