This article develops a configuration typology for purchasing's involvement in product development projects. Six configurations are identified and analyzed, varying in degree of coordination and level of purchaser integration. The configurations are illustrated by five case studies performed in different companies operating in different industries. Enabling factors, such as the purchasing organization and the competencies and skills of the purchasers, can facilitate the involvement of purchasers in a development project. Project size and project complexity can be identified as driving factors influencing the appropriateness of the purchaser involvement configurations. Dedicated, full-time purchasing specialists in combination with a purchasing coordinator provide the strongest degree of involvement necessary for managing large and complex projects, whereas indirect, ad hoc purchasing involvement provides the lowest degree of involvement sufficient for small and relatively simple projects.
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