Date of Award

Winter 2004

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Earl D. Honeycutt, Jr.

Committee Member

Edward P. Markowski


A number of scholars suggest that the ability to accrue any competitive advantage stemming from time of entry is a function of the type of market being entered (e.g., Lieberman and Montgomery 1988; Kerin et al. 1992; Szymanski et al. 1995; VanderWerf and Mahon 1997). This dissertation extended the current behaviorally-based research domain of the field vis-a-vie a survey-based comparative study of mature market (U.S.) and emerging market (Indian) consumers' attitudes toward pioneer and follower brands. Two fundamental questions were asked: (1) Are there significant attitudinal differences between mature market and emerging market consumers based on order of entry? (2) Would firms considering emerging markets be better off entering early despite all the start up difficulties, or postpone their entry until the first-mover gets “bloodied” and then enter, with the expectation of greater performance?

Based on the earlier work of Alpert and Kamins (1995) and utilizing the Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) Theory of Reasoned Action, 12 hypotheses examining the underlying beliefs, attitudes, and purchasing intentions of consumers in both countries as they relate to pioneering vs. follower brands were formulated and tested using paired-sample t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and structural equation modeling. A number of significant conclusions were drawn from the analyses. First, while consumers in both countries have favorable attitudes towards the pioneer, Indian consumers tend to exhibit much more positive perceptions in terms of both global and multiattribute-based attitudes. Second, attitudinal preferences for the pioneer brand are positively related to intention to buy the pioneer brand. The notable attitudinal differences between the countries are reflected in a significantly more positive intention preference for the pioneer brand on the part of Indian consumers. Finally, in both countries, the preference for the pioneer is a function of a series of causal relationships where attitudes and social norms play dominant roles. In the U.S., individual attitudes play a more significant role in formulating purchase intention than social norms. However, societal norms tend to discourage the purchase of the pioneer brand. In the case of India, social norms play a more dominant role in intention formation. The study concludes with a discussion of the managerial implications, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research.


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