Drawing on the resource-based view, this study examines the contingency effects of industry- and firm-level variables on the first-mover advantages and effective follower strategies in an emerging-market context. Using hierarchical regressions, the authors analyze a large data set of foreign investors in China. Contingency models that include the interactions of entry order with the moderating variables have better fit of the data than the main-effect models. Industry growth and competition, firm size, entry mode, resource commitment, and marketing intensity have significant moderating effects on first-mover advantages. After the authors correct for multicollinearity bias using ridge regression, it seems that pioneers still enjoy a small advantage in market share but not in profitability, indicating a trade-off between the two. Furthermore, followers may augment performance by increasing resource commitment and marketing intensity. These findings have significant implications for entry-order strategies and for improving foreign direct investment performance in foreign markets; they also suggest meaningful directions for further research.
Keywords: entry order, first-mover advantages, corporate performance, multinational corporations, emerging markets