First-Mover (Dis) Advantages: Retrospective and Link with the Resource-Based View

First-Mover (Dis) Advantages: Retrospective and Link with the Resource-Based View

By Marvin B. Lieberman, David Bruce Montgomery
1998Working Paper No. 1495

We were honored to receive the 1996 prize of the Strategic Management Society (in cooperation with John Wiley and Sons) for our 1988 paper, "First-Mover Advantages." It is customary for the award recipients to write a brief article reflecting on the orginal work. As our paper aimed to provide a unified conceptual framework and critical assessment of the literature, we have chosen to write a somewhat longer piece to update our survey and suggest opportunities for continuing research.Our prize-winning paper began as a series of healthy disagreements between the authors, which took place over brown bag lunches during the summer of 1986. "First-mover advantage" (FMA) was a term widely invoked in strategic management, marketing, and economics. We found, however, that our interpretations of the concept differed greatly. We wondered if our disagreements stemmed from the contrast in our disciplinary backgrounds, or if they reflected a broader lack of consensus among business scholars.