Relationship-specific antecedents of customer involvement in new product development
by Thomas Ritter, Achim Walter
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 26, No. 5/6, 2003

Abstract: Research in new product development (NPD) has identified customer involvement as an important means to accelerate product development, to reduce development costs, and to enhance new product value. This is grounded in the wealth of customers' knowledge due to their product and market experiences. Therefore, customer involvement may provide access to innovative product ideas, new technologies, market information, and development capabilities that the manufacturer lacks in-house. Whilst much has been written about the potential benefits of partnering with customers, only few researchers have attempted to document empirically the factors that foster customer involvement in NPD. This study examines the influence of relationship management tasks on customer involvement in NPD using data from more than 233 supplier-customer relationships. Our findings suggest that five relationship management tasks have a strong impact on customer involvement in NPD. Relationship sponsoring, technological consulting, information brokering, representing interests, and coordinating cooperative activities are crucial for integrating customers into NPD processes. Mutual trust and mutual commitment as well as mutual adaptations by the partner firms are further important factors for customer involvement in NPD. Based on these findings, this study discusses several theoretical and managerial implications.

Online publication date: Sat, 06-Sep-2003

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email