Full citation

Laugen, B. r. T., Boer, H., & Acur, N. (2006). The New Product Development Improvement Motives and Practices of Miles and Snow's Prospectors, Analysers and Defenders. Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(1), 85-95.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: This study classified 42 companies as having a corporate strategy of defender, analyzer, or prospector (Miles & Snow, 1978). It then tested for differences between their new product development strategies and activities. The majority of the hypotheses were rejected or not confirmed, leading the authors to believe that the three different types of corporate strategies are beginning to merge.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees)

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings


  • If your company's strategy is that of an analyzer, one which makes new concepts or innovations more efficient, consider using design tools such as CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacturing) to improve your new product development performance.
    Survey. Analyzers were found to significantly make more use of CAD/CAM tools than defenders.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 5.4, Step 4.12, Step 7.6, Step 7.5, Step 6.4, Step 6.2
  • If operating as a defender, a company who focuses on existing products and stable markets, pay close attention to lowering costs and price in order to improve new product development performance.
    Survey. The cost/price driver for NPD performance improvement was found to be significantly greater for defenders than for prospectors.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.12, Step 7.7, Step 7.3

Secondary Findings

Tip: Keep rules and procedures flexible for highly innovative companies (prospectors)because they need to act quickly when the marketplace changes. (Burns & Stalker [1961], Hage & Aiken [1970], and Miles & Snow [1978])