Looking for Miles and Snow's descriptions of business strategy (prospector, analyzer, defender and reactor) LO29845

From: Emeric Solymossy (E-Solymossy@wiu.edu)
Date: 01/24/03

I'm sure you'll be flooded with responses given the wide distribution of
your posting. I don't have Miles' and Snow's book, but what I use is a
combination and adaptation of exerpts from "Strategic Management and
Business Policy" Thomas L. Wheelen and J. David Hunger, 6th Ed., Addison
Wesley, and from "Strategic Management Concise: A Managerial Perspective"
by L.J. Bourgeois III, Irene M. Duhaime, and J.L. Stimpert, Harcourt Brace

Hope this helps.
Emeric Solymossy
Associate Professor of Management
Western Illinois University

  a.. Prospectors are pro-active, and pursue an offensive strategy,
agressively pursuing new market opportunities with a willingness to take
risks. The maintain an entrepreneurial attitude, and explore their
competitive environments with the aim of developing new product and market
opportunities. Prospectors are companies with fairly broad product lines
that focus on product innovation and market opportunities. This sales
orientation makes them somewhat inefficient. They tend to emphasize
creativity over efficiency. An example is the Miller Brewing Company,
which successfully promoted "light" beer and generated aggressive,
innovative advertising campaigns, but had to close a brand-new brewery
when management overestimated market demand.

  a.. Defenders are less pro-active, and can be seen as being protection
oriented, seeking stability by maintaining current market positions and
defending against encroachment by other firms. Defenders, unlike
prospectors, engage in little or no new product or market development.
Their strategic actions seek to preserve market share by minimizing the
impact of competitor's initiatives. Defenders are companies with a
limited product line thatfocus on improving the efficiency of their
existing operations. This cost orientation makes them unlikely to innovate
in new areas. An example is the Adolph Coors Company, which for many years
emphasized production efficiency in its one Colorado brewery and virtually
ignored marketing.

  a.. Analyzers, are somewhere between prospectors and defenders,
balancing the opportunity-seeking nature of prospectors against the risk
aversion of defenders. Analyzers seek to maintain their position in the
marketplace, waiting for the market's reaction to new product or new
entrants into the marketplace. Once the market's reaction is analyzed,
they pursue the opportunity, having identified the key success factors.
Thus, like prospectors, analyzers seek to exploit new market
opportunities, but they will also tend to draw most of their revenue from
a stable portfolio of products. Analyzers are corporations that operate in
at least two different product-market areas, one stable and one variable.
In the stable areas, efficiency is emphasized. In the variable areas,
innovation is emphasized. An example is Anheuser-Busch, which can take a
defender orientation to protect its massive market share in U.S. beer and
a prospector orientation to generate sales in its amusement parks.

  a.. While the strategies of prospectors, defenders, and analyzers are
all to some extent proactive, the strategies pursued by Reactors is
characterized by inconsistencies and a reactionary response to
environmental change. Reactors do not have a distinct strategy - they
merely react to environmental changes. Thus, the reactor strategy is not
considered a viable one, and firms pursuing such a strategy would either
have to adopt one of the other three types of strategy or face eventual
decline. Reactors are corporations that lack a consistent
strategy-structure-culture relationship. Their (often ineffective)
responses to environmental pressures tend to be piecemeal strategic
changes. An example is the Pabst Brewing Company, which, because of
numerous takeover attempts, has been unable to generate a consistent
strategy to keep its sales from dropping.

>I'm looking for a descriptive paragraph for each one of Miles and Snow's
>typology (descriptions) of business strategies
>(prospector, analyzer, defender and reactor)

>Walter Derzko


"Emeric Solymossy" <E-Solymossy@wiu.edu>

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