There is already a wide acceptance on the importance of involving supplier and customer companies in product development. Decent understanding prevails on the relationship-oriented approach to product development including various collaboration forms. However, there is less research on the factors explaining the decision of attending to joint product development. In addition, less studies have examined the integrated role of both suppliers and customers in product development initiatives. This study searches answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the role of different actors in product development initiatives? 2. What factors motivate suppliers and customers to participate in product development? The research is carried out as an in-depth qualitative single case study in a large project manufacturing company. It takes the perspective of a focal company striving for product improvements. The first part of the empirical study consists of 15 semi-structured interviews. The second part includes two discursive workshops and builds upon the results of the interviews. This study contributes to the existing research by explaining the challenges and conditions facilitating joint product development with supplier and purchaser companies. The results highlight the role of customers in improving the effectiveness of product development. As a practical contribution, the paper reports the application of workshop method as a facilitator of collaboration between supplier, purchaser (focal company) and customer companies.
 Lin X., Germain R., Antecedents to customer involvement in product development: comparing US and Chinese firms, European Management Journal, 22, 2, 244–255, 2004.
 Ylimäki J, A dynamic model of supplier – customer product development collaboration strategies, Industrial Marketing Management, 43, 6, 996–1004, 2014.
 Lakemond N., Echtelt F., Wynstra F., A configuration typology for involving purchasing specialists in product development, Journal of Supply Chain Management, 37, 3, 11–20, 2001.
 Schiele H., Early supplier integration: the dual role of purchasing in new product development, R&D Management, 40, 2, 138–153, 2010.
 Lagrosen S., Customer involvement in new product development: a relationship marketing perspective, European Journal of Innovation Management, 8, 4, 424–436, 2005.
 Brown S.L., Eisenhardt K.M., Product development: past research, present findings, and future directions, Academy of management review, 20, 2, 343–378, 1995.
 Handfield R.B., Bechtel C., The role of trust and relationship structure in improving supply chain responsiveness, Industrial Marketing Management, 31, 4, 367–382, 2002.
 Ragatz G.L., Handfield R.B., Scannell T.V., Success factors for integrating suppliers into new product development, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 14, 3, 190–202, 1997.
 Yeniyurt S., Henke Jr J.W., Yalcinkaya G., A longitudinal analysis of supplier involvement in buyers’ new product development: working relations, interdependence, co-innovation, and performance outcomes, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 42, 3, 291–308, 2014.
 Gruner K.E., Homburg C., Does customer interaction enhance new product success?, Journal of Business Research, 49, 1, 1–14, 2000.
 Svendsen M.F., Haugland S.A., Grønhaug K., Hammervoll T., Marketing strategy and customer involvement in product development, European Journal of Marketing, 45, 4, 513–530, 2011.
 Kaulio M.A., Customer, consumer and user involvement in product development: a framework and a review of selected methods, Total Quality Management, 9, 1, 141–149, 1998.
 Imeri S., Shahzad K., Takala J., Liu Y., Sillanpää I., Ali T., Evaluation and selection process of suppliers through analytical framework: an emprical evidence of evaluation tool, Management and Production Engineering Review, 6, 3, 10–20, 2015.
 Ritter T., Walter A., Relationship-specific antecedents of customer involvement in new product development, International Journal of Technology Management, 26, 5–6, 482–501, 2003.
 Stump R.L., Athaide G.A., Joshi A.W., Managing seller-buyer new product development relationships for customized products: a contingency model based on transaction cost analysis and empirical test, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 19, 6, 439–454, 2002.
 Chien S.H., Chen J.J., Supplier involvement and customer involvement effect on new product development success in the financial service industry, The Service Industries Journal, 30, 2, 185–201, 2010.
 Brockhoff K., Customers’ perspectives of involvement in new product development, International Journal of Technology Management, 26, 5–6, 464–481, 2003.
 Gosling J., Naim M.M., Engineer-to-order supply chain management: a literature review and research agenda, International Journal of Production Economics, 122, 2, 741–754, 2009.
 Gunasekaran A., Ngai E.W., Build-to-order supply chain management: a literature review and framework for development, Journal of Operations Management, 23, 5, 423–451, 2005.
 González-Benito J., Effect of the characteristics of the purchased products in JIT purchasing implementation, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 22, 8, 868–886, 2002.
 Eriksson P.E., Improving construction supply chain collaboration and performance: a lean construction pilot project, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 15, 5, 394–403, 2010.
 Ahola T., Laitinen E., Kujala J., Wikström K., Purchasing strategies and value creation in industrial turnkey projects, International Journal of Project Management, 26, 1, 87–94, 2008.
 Eriksson P.E., Westerberg M., Effects of cooperative procurement procedures on construction project performance: a conceptual framework, International Journal of Project Management, 29, 2, 197–208, 2011.
 Tollin K., Customization as a business strategy – a barrier to customer integration in product development?, Total Quality Management, 13, 4, 427–439, 2002.
 Luzzini D., Amann M., Caniato F., Essig M., Ronchi S., The path of innovation: purchasing and supplier involvement into new product development, Industrial Marketing Management, 47, 109–120, 2015.
 Azadegan A., Dooley K.J., Supplier innovativeness, organizational learning styles and manufacturer performance: An empirical assessment, Journal of Operations Management, 28, 6, 488–505, 2010.
 Lau A.K., Supplier and customer involvement on new product performance: contextual factors and an empirical test from manufacturer perspective, Industrial Management and Data Systems, 111, 6, 910–942, 2011.
 Song M., Di Benedetto C.A., Supplier’s involvement and success of radical new product development in new ventures, Journal of Operations Management, 26, 1, 1–22, 2008.
 Wynstra F., Van Weele A., Weggemann M., Managing supplier involvement in product development: three critical issues, European Management Journal, 19, 2, 157–167, 2001.
 Wagner S.M., Hoegl M., Involving suppliers in product development: insights from R&D directors and project managers, Industrial Marketing Management, 35, 8, 936–943, 2006.
 Schiele H., Accessing supplier innovation by being their preferred customer, Research-Technology Management, 55, 1, 44–50, 2012.
 Melander L., Rosell D., Lakemond N., In pursuit of control: involving suppliers of critical technologies in new product development, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 19, 5/6, 722–732, 2014.
 Rowley T., Behrens D., Krackhardt D., Redundant governance structures: an analysis of structural and relational embeddedness in the steel and semiconductor industries, Strategic Management Journal, 21, 3, 369–386, 2000.
 Ellis S.C., Henke J.W., Kull T.J., The effect of buyer behaviors on preferred customer status and access to supplier technological innovation: an empirical study of supplier perceptions, Industrial Marketing Management, 41, 8, 1259–1269, 2012.
 Wagner S.M., Bode C., Supplier relationship-specific investments and the role of safeguards for supplier innovation sharing, Journal of Operations Management, 32, 3, 65–78, 2014.
 Koufteros X.A., Cheng T.E., Lai K.H., “Black-box” and “gray-box” supplier integration in product development: antecedents, consequences and the moderating role of firm size, Journal of Operations Management, 25, 4, 847–870, 2007.
 Smals R.G., Smits A.A., Value for value – the dynamics of supplier value in collaborative new product development, Industrial Marketing Management, 41, 1, 156–165, 2012.
 Lakemond N., Berggren C., Weele A., Coordinating supplier involvement in product development projects: a differentiated coordination typology, R&D Management, 36, 1, 55–66, 2006.
 Petersen K.J., Handfield R.B., Ragatz G.L., Supplier integration into new product development: coordinating product, process and supply chain design, Journal of Operations Management, 23, 3, 371–388, 2005.
 Larsson B., Sundqvist J., Emmitt S., Component manufacturers’ perceptions of managing innovation, Building Research and Information, 34, 6, 552–564, 2006.
 Greer C.R., Lei D., Collaborative innovation with customers: A review of the literature and suggestions for future research, International Journal of Management Reviews, 14, 1, 63–84, 2012.
 Lichtenthaler U., Open innovation in practice: an analysis of strategic approaches to technology transactions, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 55, 1, 148–157, 2008.
 Nambisan S., Designing virtual customer environments for new product development: toward a theory, Academy of Management Review, 27, 3, 392–413, 2002.
 Yin R.K., Case Study Research – Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2009.
 Eppinger S.D., Whitney D.E., Smith R.P., Gebala D.A., A model-based method for organizing tasks in product development, Research in Engineering Design, 6, 1, 1–13, 1994.
 Flick U., An Introduction to Qualitative Research, London: Sage Publications, 2002.
 Van De Ven A., Delbecq A.L., Nominal versus interacting group processes for committee decision-making effectiveness, Academy of Management Journal, 14, 2, 203–212, 1971.
 Kim S.H., Ahn B.S., Interactive group decision making procedure under incomplete information, European Journal of Operational Research, 116, 3, 498–507, 1999.
 McElroy J., The development partner, World Class Design to Manufacture, 2, 5, 5–10, 1995.
 Munksgaard K.B., Clarke A.H., Storvang P., Erichsen P.G., Product development with multiple partners: strategies and conflicts in networks, Industrial Marketing Management, 41, 3, 438–447, 2012.
 Dubois A., Wynstra F., Organising the purchasing function as an interface between internal and external networks, Proceedings of the 21st Annual IMP Conference, Rotterdam, September 1st–3th, 2005.
 Lawson B., Petersen K.J., Cousins P.D., Handfield R.B., Knowledge sharing in interorganizational product development teams: the effect of formal and informal socialization mechanisms, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26, 2, 156–172, 2009.