The integration of marketing and R&D is a major concern for companies that want to improve their new product performance (NPP). For this integration, companies are using mechanisms such as physical proximity, cross-functional teams, and job rotation. This study examines the effectiveness of these mechanisms by developing a model that distinguishes between indirect effects of mechanisms on NPP (i.e., through a higher level of integration) and direct effects. The model is tested with data collected from 148 pharmaceutical companies. We were able to measure and compare the effectiveness of seven different integration mechanisms, which produced insights that are interesting and relevant for theory as well as practice. We found that housing marketing and R&D closer to each other and using an influential cross-functional phase review board are the most effective mechanisms to foster integration. Equal remuneration and career opportunities for marketing and R&D and cross-functional teams are somewhat less effective, whereas personnel movement and informal social group events contribute little. ICT appears to be a very effective tool for enhancing NPP. ICT not only fosters integration between marketing and R&D, but it also has an independent direct positive effect on NPP. Through ICT the day-to-day communication between the different parties in the companies becomes much easier, and we think that this fosters the knowledge creation process within marketing and R&D. For cross-functional phase review boards we found a negative direct effect on NPP. Notwithstanding its strong positive effect on integration, a price is paid in terms of NPP. This may be related to the amount of formalization and complexity accompanying this mechanism.

ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Product Innovation Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Leenders, M.A.A.M, & Wierenga, B. (2002). The Effectiveness of Different Mechanisms for Integrating Marketing and R&D. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 19(4), 305–317. doi:10.1016/S0737-6782(02)00147-9