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Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Research Methods on Findings of First-Mover Advantage

Author

Listed:
  • Pieter A. VanderWerf

    (Boston University School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215)

  • John F. Mahon

    (Boston University School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215)

Abstract

A long-standing hypothesis is that firms that enter a market early ("first movers") tend to have higher performance than their followers ("first-mover advantage"). Recently, researchers have begun to argue that the statistical tests that support this relationship are limited in their applicability. That is, it is suggested that because of the methods used, these tests show the relationship only for certain subsets of firms, markets, and types of performance. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether the findings are in fact sensitive to the methods used. We discovered that tests using market share as their performance measure were sharply and significantly more likely to find a first-mover advantage than tests using other measures (such as profitability or survival). Also significantly more likely to find an advantage were tests that sample from individually selected industries and those that include no measures of the entrants' competitive strength. Conversely, we found little evidence that "survivor bias" (the exclusion of nonsurviving entrants from the sample) affects a test's findings. The data further suggest that tests that use none of the questioned research practices will find a first-mover advantage no more often than can be accounted for by random statistical error alone.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:43:y:1997:i:11:p:1510-1519
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.43.11.1510
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    Cited by:

    1. John Hauser & Gerard J. Tellis & Abbie Griffin, 2006. "Research on Innovation: A Review and Agenda for," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 687-717, 11-12.
    2. Li, Ji & Lam, Kevin C. K. & Karakowsky, Leonard & Qian, Gongming, 2003. "Firm resource and first mover advantages: A case of foreign direct investment (FDI) in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 625-645, October.
    3. William Boulding & Markus Christen, 2008. "Disentangling Pioneering Cost Advantages and Disadvantages," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 699-716, 07-08.
    4. Sofka, Wolfgang & Schmidt, Tobias, 2004. "I Like The Way You Move: An Empirical Investigation into the Mechanisms Behind First Mover and Follower Strategies," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-87, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Himme, Alexander, 2005. "Der Einfluss der Markteintrittsreihenfolge auf den Unternehmenserfolg: Eine Zusammenfassung empirischer Arbeiten und Leitlinien für die weitere Forschung auf diesem Gebiet," Manuskripte aus den Instituten für Betriebswirtschaftslehre der Universität Kiel 600, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre.
    6. Torsten Gerpott & Nejc Jakopin, 2008. "Markteintrittstiming von Telekommunikationsdiensteanbietern," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 7-37, May.
    7. Insu Cho & Heejun Park & Joseph Kim, 2012. "The moderating effect of innovation protection mechanisms on the competitiveness of service firms," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 6(3), pages 369-386, September.
    8. repec:eee:jouret:v:85:y:2009:i:2:p:177-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Zulima Fernández & Belén Usero, 2007. "The erosion of pioneer advantage in the European mobile telecommunications industry," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 1(3), pages 195-210, September.
    10. Deng, Ziliang & Wang, Zeyu, 2016. "Early-mover advantages at cross-border business-to-business e-commerce portals," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 6002-6011.
    11. Madhavan, Ravi & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2011. "Evidence-Based Management in "Macro" Areas: The Case of Strategic Management," Working Papers 11-0105, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    12. Lopez, Luis E. & Roberts, Edward B., 2002. "First-mover advantages in regimes of weak appropriability: the case of financial services innovations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(12), pages 997-1005, December.
    13. Michael, Steven C., 2003. "First mover advantage through franchising," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 61-80, January.
    14. Ronald Klingebiel & John Joseph, 2016. "Entry timing and innovation strategy in feature phones," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(6), pages 1002-1020, June.
    15. Usero, Belén & Fernández, Zulima, 2009. "First come, first served: How market and non-market actions influence pioneer market share," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1139-1145, November.
    16. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:57-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Ramasesh, Ranga & Tirupati, Devanath & Vaitsos, Constantin A., 2010. "Modeling process-switching decisions under product life cycle uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 236-246, August.
    18. April M. Franco & MB Sarkar & Rajshree Agarwal & Raj Echambadi, 2009. "Swift and Smart: The Moderating Effects of Technological Capabilities on the Market Pioneering-Firm Survival Relationship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(11), pages 1842-1860, November.
    19. Jakopin, Nejc M. & Klein, Andreas, 2012. "First-mover and incumbency advantages in mobile telecommunications," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 362-370.
    20. Timo Busch & Bryan T. Stinchfield & Matthew S. Wood, 2011. "A Triptych Inquiry: Rethinking Sustainability, Innovation, and Financial Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-026/2/DSF 9, Tinbergen Institute.
    21. García-Villaverde, Pedro M. & Ruiz-Ortega, María J. & Parra-Requena, Gloria, 2012. "Towards a comprehensive model of entry timing in the ICT industry: Direct and indirect effects," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 297-310.
    22. Gounaris, Spiros P., 2005. "Trust and commitment influences on customer retention: insights from business-to-business services," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 126-140, February.

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