Top management involvement in new product development


This research project aims to improve the chances of success for new products – by studying the role of senior management in the development process.


New product development (NPD) is at the heart of many businesses. Senior managers have a distinctive vantage point where they can see the whole of the organisation and its future and the importance of developing new products to the success of their business. Sustained success, however, requires consistently excellent performance in every NPD project. This is where senior managers begin to feel uncertain about their own role or whether they have any role at all in individual projects.


Throughout the lifecycle of most NPD projects, senior managers look at the project at only a few decision-making points, such as when resources are required or when major milestones are reached. As a result, many NPD projects suffer a big communication gap between the team players and the ultimate decision makers. This communication gap mostly ends up with last minute fire fighting from senior managers when the project veers off track with missed deadlines, inadequate resources, deficient performance, and exhausted, disappointed project participants.


Studies on success factors and best practices of NPD acknowledge that involvement of top managers in NPD is critical. However, we have little knowledge on:


What constitutes top management involvement in new product development projects?What are the roles of top management in NPD projects?How does top management involvement affect success in NPD projects?How does communication between top management and the NPD team influence this success?


This project investigates top management involvement in NPD at project level from the perspective of both top management and the NPD team to find answers to these questions.


Collaborators sought

We are seeking collaborators to take part in this research project and are interested in hearing from manufacturing and technology companies which have developed a new product within the last three years.


Participants will benefit from access to research findings prior to publication and have the chance to attend a special seminar detailing the results.


Participation involves a short online survey to be filled by a senior manager (who has decision making responsibilities in new product development activities in your company) and a project manager.


If you would like to take part in this project, please contact the project coordinator, Burcu Felekoglu


The deadline for participation is 21st April 2011

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