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I Like the Way you Move - An Empirical Investigation into the Mechanisms Behind First Mover and Follower Strategies

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Author Info

  • Wolfgang Sofka

    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Tobias Schmidt

    (ZEW Mannheim)

Abstract

There appears to be an ambivalent dimension in innovation strategies: timing. When is an innovation ready for the market or when is the market ready for the innovation? This paper empirically investigates the determinants of a firm’s decision to become a first mover or a follower in innovation strategies. Much of theoretical and empirical work has focused on whether first mover strategies pay off or not. Here we take a different approach by analysing the determinants that lead companies to opt for either a first mover or a follower strategy. One of this paper’s major goals is to distinguish between firm and industry specific effects on this particular strategic choice. We estimate our model using the most recent data from the German innovation survey of 2003. This dataset allows us to identify deliberate followers rather than outstripped first movers. One of our main findings is that firms choosing a first mover strategy operate in industries with intensive knowledge exchange and further leverage this advantage through excellent internal absorptive capacities. Followers, though, compete by way of their operational excellence for streamlining processes and cutting costs. Hence, we argue that neither of these two innovation strategies is per se superior to the other.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0506/0506010.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0506010.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0506010

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 37
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: innovation strategy; first mover; bivariat probit;

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References

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  1. Glen L. Urban & Theresa Carter & Steven Gaskin & Zofia Mucha, 1986. "Market Share Rewards to Pioneering Brands: An Empirical Analysis and Strategic Implications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(6), pages 645-659, June.
  2. Pieter A. VanderWerf & John F. Mahon, 1997. "Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Research Methods on Findings of First-Mover Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(11), pages 1510-1519, November.
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  7. Tobias Schmidt, 2005. "Knowledge Flows and R&D Co-operation: Firm-level Evidence from Germany," Development and Comp Systems 0506006, EconWPA.
  8. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1985. "Post-entry Competition in the Plain Paper Copier Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 15-19, May.
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  10. Clayton M. Christensen & Fernando F. Suárez & James M. Utterback, 1998. "Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages S207-S220, December.
  11. Bruno Cassiman & Reinhilde Veugelers, 2002. "R&D Cooperation and Spillovers: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1169-1184, September.
  12. Alan Bryman, 1997. "Animating the Pioneer versus Late Entrant Debate: An Historic Case Study," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 415-438, 05.
  13. Richard Schmalensee, 1978. "Entry Deterrence in the Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereal Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 305-327, Autumn.
  14. S.A. Lippman & R.P. Rumelt, 1982. "Uncertain Imitability: An Analysis of Interfirm Differences in Efficiency under Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 418-438, Autumn.
  15. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "First Mover and Second Mover Advantages," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 649-53, October.
  16. Stephen Shmanske, 2004. "Market Preemption and Entry Deterrence: Evidence from the Golf Course Industry," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 55-68.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schmidt, Tobias, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Patents and Secrecy on Knowledge Spillovers," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-48, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Wolfgang Sofka & Joerg Zimmermann, 2005. "There is no Place Like Home: A Strategic Framework to Overcome Liability of Foreignness in the German Car Market," Industrial Organization 0512003, EconWPA.
  3. Aerts, Kris & Schmidt, Tobias, 2006. "Two for the price of one? On additionality effects of R&D subsidies: A comparison between Flanders and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-63, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Tobias Schmidt & Wolfgang Sofka, 2005. "Lost in Translation - Empirical Evidence for Liability of Foreignness as Barriers to Knowledge Spillovers," Industrial Organization 0512012, EconWPA.
  5. Wolfgang Sofka, 2005. "Global Idea Sourcing - An empirical investigation into the mechanisms behind the usage of foreign business sources for innovation," Industrial Organization 0509004, EconWPA.
  6. Tobias Schmidt, 2005. "Absorptive Capacity – One Size Fits All? A Firm-level Analysis of Absorptive Capacity for Different Kinds of Knowledge," Industrial Organization 0510010, EconWPA.
  7. Faria, Pedro & Schmidt, Tobias, 2007. "International Cooperation on Innovation: Empirical Evidence for German and Portuguese Firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Aschhoff, Birgit & Schmidt, Tobias, 2006. "Empirical evidence on the success of R&D co-operation: Happy together?," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Aerts, Kris & Schmidt, Tobias, 2008. "Two for the price of one?: Additionality effects of R&D subsidies: A comparison between Flanders and Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 806-822, June.

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