This paper examines how firms succeed to leverage supplier involvement in product development. The paper extends earlier work on managing supplier involvement by providing an integrated analysis of results, processes and conditions both at the level of individual development projects and the overall firm. Following a multiple-case study approach with theoretical sampling, the study is carried out by examining eight projects in which four manufacturers from different industries involve multiple suppliers. The findings suggest that successful supplier involvement is dependent on the coordinated design, execution and evaluation of strategic, long-term processes and operational, short-term management processes and the presence of enabling factors such as a cross-functional oriented organization. The required intensity of these processes and enablers depends on contingencies such as firm size and environmental uncertainty. In contrast with previous research, we find no indications that managing supplier involvement requires a different approach in highly innovative projects compared to less innovative projects.

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Keywords R&D management, innovation, new product development, purchasing, supplier relations
Publisher Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
Persistent URL
van Echtelt, F.E.A, Wynstra, J.Y.F, & van Weele, A.J. (2007). Strategic and Operational Management of Supplier Involvement in New Product Development: a Contingency Perspective (No. ERS-2007-040-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). Retrieved from