• strategic types;
  • constrained classification;
  • SBU strategic capabilities;
  • environmental uncertainty;
  • SBU performance


The Miles and Snow strategic type framework is re-examined with respect to interrelationships with several theoretically relevant batteries of variables, including SBU strategic capabilities, environmental uncertainty, and performance. A newly developed constrained, multi-objective, classification methodology is modified to empirically derive an alternative quantitative typology using survey data obtained from 709 firms in three countries (China, Japan, United States). We compare the Miles and Snow typology to the classification empirically derived utilizing this combinatorial optimization clustering procedure. With respect to both variable battery associations and objective statistical criteria, we show that the empirically derived solution clearly dominates the traditional P-A-D-R typology of Miles and Snow. Implications and directions for future research are provided. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.