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korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 4

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 4, pp.1037-1069
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2021
Received 02 Dec 2020 Revised 28 Mar 2021 Accepted 15 Apr 2021

Strategic Deviance and Asymmetry Cost Behavior
Jaehyoung Lee ; Jihoe Hwang ; Giman Nam
(First Author) Ph.D Candidate, Business School, Sungkyunkwan University (
(Corresponding Author) Ph.D Candidate, Business School, Sungkyunkwan University (
(Co-Author) Researcher, Business Research Institute, Sungkyunkwan University (

전략적 일탈과 비대칭적 원가행태

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the relationship between strategic deviance and cost asymmetry and then examine the effects of a firm’s earnings transparency on these relationships. Within an industry, many firms tend to imitate peers’ strategic choices, but few firms adopt a strategy that deviates from industry norms, called strategic deviance. Recent studies on strategic deviance focus on agency problems arising from information asymmetry in strategically deviant firms. For instance, managers in strategically deviant firms would have more opportunities to pursue earnings management or spend on privileged consumption. Thus, we anticipate that strategic deviance might be associated with cost asymmetry. Our results show that the higher degree of strategic deviance, the higher the cost stickiness. Also, the positive relationship is higher only when a firm’s earnings transparency is lower. Furthermore, we find that the positive effect of strategic deviance on cost stickiness is not associated with deliberate resource commitment decisions by rational managers, ruling out the possibility that the relationship is driven by rational manager’s decision making. These results support the role of agency problems in channeling the positive association between strategic deviance and cost stickiness. We contribute to the literature by enhancing the understanding of deviant strategy and asymmetric cost behavior.

Keywords: business strategy, strategic deviance, cost stickiness, earnings transparency

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∙ The author Jaehyoung Lee is an integrated Ph.D student majoring in accounting at Sungkyunkwan University Business School. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baekseok University. His main areas of research are in financial accounting and auditing.

∙ The author Jihoe Hwang is currently attending the Ph.D in accounting at Sungkyunkwan University Business School. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Sungkyunkwan University and master’s degree in business administration from Kyungpook National University. Her recent research interests lie in auditing and integrating accounting.

∙ The author Giman Nam is currently a researcher at Sungkyunkwan University Business Research Institute. His main research areas are financial accounting and auditing.