Capabilities and financial performance: the moderating effect of strategic type

  • Michael Song
  • C. Anthony Di BenedettoEmail author
  • Robert W. Nason
Original Empirical Research


The Miles–Snow (M–S) strategic typology has continued to receive attention in the academic business press, even though it has been criticized for not making explicit the relationships between strategic type and ultimate profit performance. Using the market orientation and Resource-Based View literature, we develop hypotheses regarding relationships between M–S strategic type and four firm capabilities (technology, information technology, market-linking, and marketing capabilities), relationship between the four capabilities and performance, and the moderating role of M–S strategic type. An empirical test involves multiple data collections from 216 firms. The study results suggest that there are significant relationships between capabilities and performance if one does not account for the moderating role of strategic type. When strategic type is used as a moderating variable, we find that only certain capabilities had significant effects on profitability. For example, technology and information technology capabilities increase financial performance for prospector organizations, while a different set of capabilities (market-linking and marketing) are positively related to financial performance for defender organizations. We discuss how our findings are consistent with the expectations of the Resource-Based View of the firm. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications.


Market orientation Strategic type Firm capabilities Miles–Snow typology Resource-based view 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Song
    • 1
  • C. Anthony Di Benedetto
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robert W. Nason
    • 3
  1. 1.Management of Technology and InnovationUniversity of MissouriKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Fox School of Business and ManagementTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Marketing and Supply Chain ManagementMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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