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First-Mover Advantage

Part 5. Product Innovation and Management

  1. Shikhar Sarin

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem05058

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Sarin, S. 2010. First-Mover Advantage. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 5.

Author Information

  1. Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


First-mover advantage, or pioneering advantage, refers to the notion that being the first firm to pursue an opportunity is associated with long-term competitive advantage. This discussion explores the concept of first-mover advantage from economic, behavioral, and empirical perspectives. Arguments and counterarguments offered by each perspective are examined. The review suggests that despite being accepted as conventional wisdom, evidence in support of first-mover advantage is inconclusive. However, a nuanced approach examining contingency effects on the pioneering–performance relationship might be able to resolve some of the past inconsistencies, and add clarity to the issue of first-mover advantage in the future.


  • first-mover advantage;
  • pioneering advantage;
  • pioneering;
  • late entrants;
  • order of entry