Developing new products is very important not only for firms to survive and grow in today's competitive environment but also for the development of national economies. Therefore, effective management of new product development attracts increasing attention of both practitioners and academics. This study investigates the roles of senior management in advanced manufacturing companies when developing new products. This study consists of two phases. Firstly, 14 different activities of top management in new product development were identified from the extant literature and international academic feedback. Then, data for 86 new product development projects collected from 85 companies active in the United Kingdom and four different roles of senior management were identified statistically with factor analysis using principle component analysis method. Results show that in developed countries like United Kingdom, the main roles of senior management in new product development are providing direction, active motivation, providing resources and setting a tolerant climate. Contibution of the findings to the theory and implications for companies in Turkey are discussed and future research directions are suggested.