Portrait image for Marvin Lieberman

Marvin Lieberman

Professor of Strategy; Harry and Elsa Kunin Chair in Business and Society, Strategy Area Chair
“Teaching and research. Universities emphasize both because they enhance each other.”
(310) 206-7665
Areas of Expertise:
  • Automotive
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • First Mover Advantage
  • Industrial Organization
  • Industry Evolution
  • Internet Strategies
  • Japan
  • Manufacturing Strategy
  • Market Entry
  • Productivity Growth
  • Steel Industry


Marvin Lieberman's academic career began as a teaching fellow at Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in business economics. After seven years as assistant professor in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he joined UCLA Anderson in 1990.

His interest in business started in high school when he co-founded a company making telemetry kits to be launched on model rockets. He soon became fascinated by the economics of competition, including in the realm of entrepreneurship and business startups. His research now focuses on issues related to market entry and productivity, broadly defined.

Lieberman's teaching and research interests are in the areas of competitive strategy, industrial economics and operations management. He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals, on topics such as cost reduction and productivity improvement, market entry and exit, and strategic investment. His most well-known paper, "First Mover Advantages" (co-authored with David Montgomery), was awarded the 1996 Best Paper Prize by the Strategic Management Society. He is a fellow of the Strategic Management Society and a member of the editorial board of the Strategic Management Journal.



Ph.D. Business Economics, 1982, Harvard University

A.B. Economics, 1976, Harvard University


Industry Experience

Airline, Automotive, Chemical, Internet Sector, Pharmaceutical, Steel


Published Papers

"Toward a Dynamic Notion of Value Creation and Appropriation in Firms: The Concept and Measurement of Economic Gain," (with Natarajan Balasubramanian and Roberto Garcia). Forthcoming, Special issue on "New Theory in Strategic Management," Strategic Management Journal.

"Measuring Value Creation and Appropriation in Firms: The VCA Model" (with Natarajan Balasubramanian and Roberto Garcia). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 38, No. 6, June 2017, pp. 1193-1211 (lead article).

"Entry, Exit and the Potential for Resource Redeployment," (with Gwendolyn Lee and Tim Folta). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 38, No. 3, March 2017, pp. 526-544.

"Production Frontier Methodologies and Efficiency as a Performance Measure in Strategic Management Research," (with C.M. Chen and Magali Delmas). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 36, January 2015, pp. 19-36.

"Conundra and Progress: Research on Entry Order and Performance," (with David Montgomery). Long Range Planning, Special Issue on Entry Timing Strategies, Vol. 46, August 2013, pp. 313-324.

"Learning by Doing and Market Structure," (with Natarajan Balasubramanian). Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 59, No. 2, June 2011, pp. 177-198.

"Internal and External Influences on Adoption Decisions in Multi-Unit Firms: The Moderating Effect of Experience," (with Daniel Simon). Forthcoming, Strategic Organization, Vol. 8, No. 2, May 2010.

"Industry Learning Environments and the Heterogeneity of Firm Performance," (with Natarajan Balasubramanian). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4, April 2010, pp. 390-412.

"Acquisition vs. Internal Development as Modes of Market Entry," (with Gwendolyn Lee). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, February 2010, pp. 140-158.

"How to Measure Company Productivity using Value-added: A Focus on Pohang Steel (POSCO)" (with Jina Kang). Asia Pacific Journal of Management., Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2008, pp. 209-224.

"Why Do Firms Imitate Each Other?" (with Shigeru Asaba). Academy of Management Review, Vol.31, No. 2, April 2006, pp. 366-385.

"Assessing the Resource Base of Japanese and U.S. Auto Producers: A Stochastic Frontier Production Function Approach," (with Rajeev Dhawan), Management Science, Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2005, pp. 1060-1075.

"The Birth of Capabilities: Market Entry and the Importance of Pre-History," (with Constance Helfat), Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 11, No. 4, August 2002, pp. 725-760.

"The Magnesium Industry in Transition," Review of Industrial Organization, Vol. 19, June 2001, pp. 71-79.

"Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: Linkages in the Japanese Automotive Industry," (with Lieven Demeester), Management Science, Vol. 45, No. 4, April 1999.

"The Empirical Determinants of Inventory Levels in High-Volume Manufacturing," (with Susan Helper and Lieven Demeester), Production and Operations Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 1999, pp. 44-55.

"Comparative Productivity of Japanese and US Steel Producers, 1958-1993," (with Douglas Johnson), Japan and the World Economy, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 1999, pp. 1-27.

"First-Mover (Dis)Advantages: Retrospective and Link with Resource-Based View," (with David Montgomery), Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, No. 12, December 1998, pp. 1111-1125.

"Patent Trends in Steelmaking Technologies," (with Aya Chacar), Iron and Steel Engineer, Vol. 75, No. 8, August 1998, pp. 72-73.

"Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: A Comparison of the Japanese and US Automotive Sectors," (with Shigeru Asaba). Managerial and Decision Economics, Special issue on Japanese Technology Management, Vol. 18, No. 2, March 1997, pp. 73-85.

"Determinants of Vertical Integration: An Empirical Test," Journal of Industrial Economics, Special Issue on Vertical Relationships, Vol. 39, No. 5, September 1991.

"Exit from Declining Industries: 'Shakeout' or 'Stakeout'?" Rand Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter 1990.

Reprinted in Applied Industrial Economics, L. Phlips, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1998.

"Firm-Level Productivity and Management Influence: A Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Automobile Producers," (with Lawrence Lau and Mark Williams). Management Science, Vol. 36, No. 10, October 1990.

"The Learning Curve, Technology Barriers to Entry, and Competitive Survival in the Chemical Processing Industries." Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 10, No. 5, September-October 1989.

Reprinted in Innovation, Evolution of Industry, and Economic Growth, D.B. Audretsch and S. Klepper, eds., Edward Elgar, 1999.

"Capacity Utilization: Theoretical Models and Empirical Tests." European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 40, No. 2, May 1989.

"First-Mover Advantages," (with David Montgomery). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 9, Summer 1988.

Recipient of 1996 SMJ Best Paper Prize (awarded for articles more than five years old with significant impact on the field of strategic management).

Reprinted in Readings in Marketing Strategy, V. J. Cook, J. Larreche and E. C. Strong, eds., Scientific Press, Redwood City, 1989.

Reprinted in Strategic Management, (volume of the International Library of Critical Writings on Business and Management), J. Birkenshaw, ed., Edward Elgar, London, 2003.

"Post-Entry Investment and Market Structure in the Chemical Processing Industries," Rand Journal of Economics, Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter 1987.

"Market Growth, Economies of Scale, and Plant Size in the Chemical Processing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 36, No. 2, December 1987.

"The Learning Curve, Diffusion, and Competitive Strategy," Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 8, No. 5, September-October 1987.

"Patents, Learning by Doing, and Market Structure in the Chemical Processing Industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 1987.

"Strategies for Capacity Expansion," Sloan Management Review, Vol. 28, No. 4, Summer 1987.

"Excess Capacity as a Barrier to Entry: An Empirical Appraisal," Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 35, No. 4, June 1987.

Reprinted in The Empirical Renaissance in Industrial Economics, T. Bresnahan and R. Schmalensee, eds., Basil Blackwell, London, 1987.

"Investment and Coordination in Oligopolistic Industries," (with Richard Gilbert), Rand Journal of Economics, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 1987.

"The Learning Curve and Pricing in the Chemical Processing Industries," Rand Journal of Economics, Vol. 15, No. 2, Summer, 1984.

"A Literature Citation Study of Science-Technology Coupling in Electronics," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 66, No. 1, January 1978. Paper was awarded the Browder Thompson prize for the best research paper by an author under 30 published in an IEEE journal during 1978.



TMS Distinguished Speaker, INFORMS Conference, Fall 2009

Best Paper Prize, Strategic Management Journal, 1996

Hoover National Fellowship, 1989–90

Shigeo Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence, 1989

Harvard Business School Division of Research Thesis Fellowship, 1981

Browder Thompson Best Paper Award (IEEE), 1979

National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1976–80