Stanford News

1/21/97

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Stanford Business School Professor David Montgomery Wins Prize

A research paper recognized for its lasting influence on strategic management has won the Strategic Management Journal's fourth annual Best Paper Prize for David B. Montgomery, the Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing Strategy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Montgomery received the 1996 award along with coauthor and former Business School professor Marvin B. Lieberman for the article titled "First Mover Advantages," published in 1988 by the Strategic Management Journal. "It was nominated by several people and there was a consensus that the paper had become very significant in strategic management," said Richard Bettis, associate editor of the Strategic Management Journal and a professor of strategic management at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The article evaluated the strategic advantages and disadvantages of being a "first mover," a firm that gains a head start over rivals because of unique technology, resources, foresight or just plain luck. Once a company achieves first-mover status, a variety of mechanisms may enable it to exploit its position and profit from it. The paper underscored the need for an industry leader to adapt and change to avoid complacency and being out-maneuvered by competitors. It also discussed when it is in a firm's interest to pursue first-mover opportunities, as opposed to allowing rivals to make pioneering, risky or costly investments.

The author of eight books, Montgomery also serves as executive director of the Marketing Science Institute in addition to his teaching activities at Stanford. MSI is a non-profit research institute dedicated to the development of scientific knowledge about marketing.

Montgomery holds four degrees from Stanford. After receiving a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1960, he earned an MBA ('62), a Master of Science in statistics ('64), and a Ph.D. in management science ('66).

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By Cathy Castillo