A model of R&D leadership and team communication: the relationship with project performance
Industrial research and development (R&D) involves the processing and transformation of new knowledge into a commercially valuable outcome. Communication is an effective mechanism to translate, share and integrate new information into commercial products or processes. We developed a five-factor model of team communication comprising: leadership role performance, team boundary spanning, communication safety, team reflexivity and task communication and tested the model using a one-year longitudinal study. Analyses were conducted on team level data from 56 teams, comprising 350 employees. Independent measures of project performance were obtained from surveys of research managers as well as project customers. Three findings emerged. Different factors predicted different stakeholders’ ratings of project performance. Communication safety was the strongest predictor of customer ratings of performance. Boundary spanning is most effective when performed by the project leader not the team.