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The role of project target clarity in an uncertain project environment

Paul Hong (Department of Information, Operations and Technology Management, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Abraham Y. Nahm (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA)
William J. Doll (Department of Management, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

Product development is recognized as cross‐functional teamwork that has become important in the fast‐paced, globally competitive environment. Despite an extant body of knowledge on the importance of fuzzy front‐end planning and functions of goals in the management literature, the impact of uncertain project environment and goal setting mechanisms in front‐end planning is not fully understood. Product development literature presents numerous case studies or conceptual papers that emphasize the importance of upfront planning and a need for team building; however, large‐scale empirical studies are rare. This paper presents a model linking uncertain project environment, project target clarity, teamwork and its outcome measures (i.e. a product's value to customer and time to market). The data were analyzed from 205 product development projects of firms from the USA and Canada. Valid and reliable instruments were developed to assess the nature and impact of inter‐relationships of these variables. Results from structural model tests indicate that uncertain project environment influences the nature of project targets which in turn affects the level of teamwork. Teamwork is an important process outcome for enhancing value to customer and time to market. Management implications are discussed as well.

Keywords

Citation

Hong, P., Nahm, A.Y. and Doll, W.J. (2004), "The role of project target clarity in an uncertain project environment", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 24 No. 12, pp. 1269-1291. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570410569047

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited