UCL School of Management

Research project

Coordination in complex product development


Innovation and development efforts are particularly challenging for complex products such as automobiles or airplanes, which involve thousands of engineers spending years designing, testing, and integrating hundreds of thousands of parts before the new product reaches the market. Key issues in these product development processes involve matching the organization to the complex product being developed and managing geographic distribution of new product design efforts. We study the impact of mismatches between product structure and communication patterns, and the role of globally distributed design on product development performance.  


This work deepens our understanding of the impact of organizational communication and product architecture on the new product development (NPD) process, and helps organizations improve operational efficiency of globally ditributed product design. We also provide tools with which managers can diagnose and improve their NPD systems, and better adapt the design organization to the complex products being developed globally.

Selected publications

Gokpinar, B., Hopp, W. J., & Iravani, S. M. R. (2010). The Impact of Misalignment of Organization Structure and Product Architecture on Quality in Complex Product Development. Management Science, 56 (3), 464-484.
Gokpinar, B., Hopp, W. J., & Iravani, S. M. R. (2013). In‐House Globalization: The Role of Globally Distributed Design and Product Architecture on Product Development Performance. Production and Operations Management, 22 (6), 1509-1523. doi:10.1111/poms.12079 [link]

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page

Last updated Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Research groups

Operations & Technology

Research areas

Operations management

Research topics

Collaboration; Complex systems; Management of innovation; New product design; New product development