Entry Timing: Enduring Lessons and Future Directions

Miles A. Zachary, Peter T. Gianiodis, G. Tyge Payne, Gideon D. Markman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Entry decisions—often critical to firm survival and growth, market evolution, and industry profitability—have been the subject of inquiry for decades. In particular, the timing of entry decisions, drawing primarily on the first-mover advantage (FMA) perspective, has emerged as a prominent area of study. While previous research confirms that entry timing is critical, a large number of contingencies create conceptual and methodological complexities that undermine the formation of a rigorous theory of entry timing. In this article, we review and synthesize management and marketing research on entry timing published in top-tier outlets from 1989 through 2013—the 25-year period that followed the publication of Lieberman and Montgomery’s seminal article on FMA. Distilling key lessons from this literature, our review tries to establish a foundational understanding of the conditions, methods, implications, and strategies of entry timing so that research might be reinvigorated in this domain. Our article concludes by offering a conceptual model of entry based on the lessons gleaned from the articles that we reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1415
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015


  • entry timing
  • first-mover advantage
  • pioneer
  • time to entry


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