Why do firms enter a new product market? A two-dimensional framework for market entry motivation and behavior

Nam Woon Kim, Sungwook Min, Seoil Chaiy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


What are the energetic forces that induce established firms to enter new product markets? While most previous research has explained the economic profits expected from a new product market as firms' distinctive motivation for market entry, some recent studies also emphasize interfirm competition and benchmarking activities as another important factor that motivates firms' new market entry. To explain the established firms' diverse new product market entry behaviors, this study presents a two-dimensional scheme of entry motivation in terms of the degrees of target market profit focus and competitor focus. The first dimension captures the economic motivation of firms' new market entry that ranges from focusing on the direct expected profits from the target market to considering more strategic/indirect benefit incentives. The second dimension captures the degree of firms' external motivation for entry affected by competitors that ranges from independent entry decisions to fully competitor-oriented entry decisions. Using multiple-industry survey data, the current study empirically verifies that these two entry motivation dimensions explain a great portion of actual firms' new product market entry behaviors and that they are independent of each other. Subsequently, this study validates that firms' operational size and their environmental factors like perceived technological uncertainty and competitive intensity upon new market entry affect the degrees of the two dimensions of firms' new product market entry motivation. More specifically, large firms less emphasize target-market profits than small firms, and when perceived technological uncertainty is high, potential market entrants become less target market profit focused but more competitor focused. Under a highly competitive new market condition, firms focus on both target-market profits and competitors. Based on the analysis of new market entry motivation dimensions, the current study proposes a new typology of established firms' market entry behaviors. The suggested typology represents the four different types of new product market entrants and examines specific characteristics and entry strategies for each type of potential entrants. This entry-motivation framework should provide a deeper understanding of the backgrounds of entry behaviors and assist firms in developing appropriate entry strategies and in advantageously responding to rival firms' actions with regard to entry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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