The reactor ... does not appear to have a consistent productmarket orientation. The organization is usually not as aggressive in maintaining established products and markets as some of its competitors, nor is it willing to take as many risks as either competitors. Rather, the organization responds in those areas where it is forced to by environment pressures.
Several studies have concluded that organizations classified as prospectors, analyzers, and defenders are generally more effective than reactors and that the relative effectiveness of the types varies with context.
For example, Smith, Guthrie, and Chen found that the effectiveness of different categories was contingent on the firm size. Firms classified as defenders performed better when they were relatively small, but firms classified as prospectors and defenders performed better when they relatively large.
Snow and Hrebiniak found that in most environments organizations classified as analyzers were generally the most effective and that in highly regulated environments reactors were more effective than prospectors or defenders.
Hambrick found that the relatively performance of organizations classified as prospectors and defenders varied according to environment and the performance measure by which they were evaluated, but that both could be effective.