First product performance: A mediated moderating model of entrepreneurial resources, founding team startup experience and product positioning strategy

Yuzhen Zhao, Dirk Libaers, Michael Song (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

This article develops a mediated-moderating resource-based model to examine first-product success in Chinese new ventures. We test our conceptual model using a sample of 694 new ventures in five high-tech industries. Building on the resource-based view literature, we argue that marketing and technical resources can be combined to develop a strong product positioning strategy (conceptualized as the degree of product differentiation and the timing of
product launch) that will create a competitive advantage and lead to superior first product performance. Moreover, we posit that the effectiveness of the impact of marketing and technical resources is contingent upon the startup and industry experience of the founding team. The empirical results indicate that the timing of product launch partially mediates the relationship between marketing resources and first product performance and product differentiation partially
mediates the relationship between technical resources and first product performance. Founding team industry & startup experience has a unique direct and indirect impact on first product performance, and also plays moderating roles on the effects of marketing and technical resources. More specifically, experienced founding teams know how to better leverage and utilize available
marketing resources to make the first product a commercial success. That said, founding team experience can act as a double-edged sword in that more experienced founding teams are poor at leveraging technical resources to develop a more differentiated first product, with negative consequences for first product performance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-458
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Volume32
Issue number3
Early online date8 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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