Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 171–193 | Cite as

Strategic action and customer mobility: Antecedents and consequences of strategic actions in the Korean mobile telecommunication service industry

  • Kyung Min ParkEmail author
  • Kiwon Jung
  • Kyung Choon Noh


This paper investigates the sources and consequences of strategic actions in the Korean mobile telecommunication service industry. Based on competitive dynamics research and an organizational learning perspective, it suggests hypotheses and tests them with monthly data on service providers’ competitive and alliance actions, as well as statistics on monthly subscribers during 2002–2007. We show the positive effects of a firm’s own experience, other firms’ strategic actions, and firms’ alliance tendencies on the likelihood of firm-level competitive action and alliance. We also find that negative performance feedback accelerates the mimetic influence of rival firms’ competitive actions and that positive performance feedback strengthens the momentum effect of a firm’s own alliance experience on the likelihood of alliance. Both competitive actions and alliances appear to influence customer mobility across firms in a complex manner. Based on customer mobility data, this study finds that alliances increase market dynamism, that is, customer mobility. It also shows that competitive actions, in general, serve to effectively attract switching customers from rivals. This study partially answers questions regarding the triggers of competitive actions and alliance activities among mobile telecommunication service providers and their performance consequences.


Strategic action Organizational learning Competitive action Alliance tendency Mobile telecommunication service Customer mobility 


  1. Afuah, A. 2000. How much do your co-opetitors’ capabilities matter in the face of technological change?. Strategic Management Journal, 21(3): 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison, G. T. 1971. Essence of decision: Explaining the Cuban missile crisis. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  3. Amburgey, T. L., Kelly, D., & Barnett, W. P. 1993. Resetting the clock: The dynamics of organizational change and failure. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38(1): 51–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amburgey, T. L., & Miner, A. S. 1992. Strategic momentum: The effects of repetitive, positional and contextual momentum on merger activity. Strategic Management Journal, 13(5): 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Argote, L. 1999. Organizational learning: Creating, retaining and transferring knowledge. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Barnett, W. P., & Hansen, M. T. 1996. The Red Queen in organizational evolution. Strategic Management Journal, 17(7): 139–157.Google Scholar
  7. Baum, J. A. C., Calabrese, T., & Silverman, B. S. 2000. Don’t go it alone: Alliance network composition and startups’ performance in canadian biotechnology. Strategic Management Journal, 21(3): 267–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baum, J. A. C., Rowley, T. J., Shipilov, A. V., & Chuang, Y. T. 2005. Dancing with strangers: Aspiration performance and the search for underwriting syndicate partners. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(4): 536–575.Google Scholar
  9. Boeker, W. 1989. Strategic change: The effects of founding and history. Academy of Management Journal, 32(3): 489–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brandenburger, A. M., & Nalebuff, B. J. 1996. Co-opetition. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.Google Scholar
  11. Bromiley, P. 1991. Testing a causal model of corporate risk taking and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 34(1): 37–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen, M. J., & MacMillan, I. C. 1992. Nonresponse and delayed response to competitive moves: The roles of competitor dependence and action irreversibility. Academy of Management Journal, 35(3): 539–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, M.-J., & Miller, D. 1994. Competitive attack, retaliation and performance: An expectancy-valence framework. Strategic Management Journal, 15: 85–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, M.-J., Smith, K. G., & Grimm, C. M. 1992. Action characteristics as predictors of competitive responses. Management Science, 38(3): 439–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chung, S., Singh, H., & Lee, K. 2000. Complementarity, status similarity and social capital as drivers of alliance formation. Strategic Management Journal, 21(1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. 1990. Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 15: 128–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Conell, C., & Cohn, S. 1995. Learning from other people’s actions: Environmental variation and diffusion in French coal mining. American Journal of Sociology, 101(2): 366–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crossan, M. M., Lane, H. W., & White, R. E. 1999. An organizational learning framework: From intuition to institution. Academy of Management Review, 24(3): 522–537.Google Scholar
  19. Cyert, R. M., & March, J. G. 1963. A behavioral theory of the firm. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. D’Aveni, R. A. 1994. Hypercompetition: Managing the dynamics of strategic maneuvering. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  21. Derfus, P. J., Maggitti, P. G., Grimm, C. M., & Smith, K. G. 2008. The Red Queen effect: Competitive actions and firm performance. Academy of Management Journal, 51(1): 61–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. 1983. The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(April): 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Doz, Y. L., & Hamel, G. 1998. The alliance advantage: The art of creating value through partnership. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Dyer, J. H. 1996. Does governance matter? Keiretsu alliances and asset specificity as sources of Japanese competitive advantage. Organization Science, 7(6): 649–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dyer, J. H., & Singh, H. 1998. The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganizational competitive advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(4): 660–679.Google Scholar
  26. Ferrier, W. J. 2001. Navigating the competitive landscape: The drivers and consequences of competitive aggressiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 44(4): 858–877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ferrier, W. J., Smith, K. G., & Grimm, C. M. 1999. The role of competitive action in market share erosion and industry dethronement: A study of industry leaders and challengers. Academy of Management Journal, 42(4): 372–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fredrickson, J. W., & Iaquinto, A. L. 1989. Inertia and creeping rationality in strategic decision processes inertia and creeping rationality in strategic decision processes. Academy of Management Journal, 32(3): 516–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gnyawali, D. R., Fan, W. G., & Penner, J. 2010. Competitive actions and dynamics in the digital age: An empirical investigation of social networking firms. Information Systems Research, 21(3): 594–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gnyawali, D. R., He, J. Y., & Madhavan, R. 2006. Impact of co-opetition on firm competitive behavior: An empirical examination. Journal of Management, 32(4): 507–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gnyawali, D. R., & Madhavan, R. 2001. Cooperative networks and competitive dynamics: A structural embeddedness perspective. Academy of Management Review, 26(3): 431–445.Google Scholar
  32. Gomes-Cassares, B. 1994. Group vs. group: How alliance networks compete. Harvard Business Review(July–August): 3–11.Google Scholar
  33. Graham, E. 1978. Transatlantic investment by multinational firms: A rivalistic phenomenon. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 1(1): 82–99.Google Scholar
  34. Greene, W. H. 2003. Econometric analysis, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  35. Greve, H. R. 2003a. A behavioral theory of R&D expenditures and innovations: Evidence from shipbuilding. Academy of Management Journal, 46(6): 685–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Greve, H. R. 2003b. Organizational learning from performance feedback. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gulati, R. 1995. Social structure and alliance formation patterns: A longitudinal analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(4): 619–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Haleblian, J. J., Kim, J. Y. J., & Rajagopalan, N. 2006. The influence of acquisition experience and performance on acquisition behavior: Evidence from the US commercial banking industry. Academy of Management Journal, 49(2): 357–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Haunschild, P. R., & Miner, A. S. 1997. Modes of interorganizational imitation: The effects of outcome salience and uncertainty. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42: 472–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hiller, N. J., & Hambrick, D. C. 2005. Conceptualizing executive Hubris: the role of (hyper-)core self-evaluations in strategic decision-making. Strategic Management Journal, 26(4): 297–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Iyer, D. N., & Miller, K. D. 2008. Performance feedback, slack, and the timing of acquisitions. Academy of Management Journal, 51(4): 808–822.Google Scholar
  42. Jauch, L. R., Osborn, R. N., & Martin, T. N. 1980. Structured content analysis of cases: A complementary method for organizational research. Academy of Management Review, 5(4): 517–525.Google Scholar
  43. Johnston, J. 1991. Econometric methods. Singapore: McGraw-Hill International.Google Scholar
  44. Kelly, D., & Amburgey, T. L. 1991. Organizational inertia and momentum: A dynamic model of strategic change. Academy of Management Journal, 34(3): 591–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Klemperer, P. 1992. Equilibrium product lines: Competing head-to-head may be less competitive. American Economic Review, 82(4): 740–755.Google Scholar
  46. Kogut, B. 1988. Joint ventures: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. Strategic Management Journal, 9(4): 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Koh, J., & Venkatraman, N. 1991. Joint venture formations and stock market reactions: An assessment in the information technology sector. Academy of Management Journal, 34(4): 869–892.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kraatz, M. S. 1998. Learning by association? Interorganizational networks and adaptation to environmental change. Academy of Management Journal, 41(6): 621–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lant, T. K. 1992. Aspiration level adaptation: An empirical exploration. Management Science, 38(5): 623–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lavie, D. 2006. The competitive advantage of interconnected firms: An extension of the resource-based view. Academy of Management Review, 31(3): 638–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lee, C., Lee, K., & Pennings, J. M. 2001. Internal capabilities, external networks, and performance: A study on technology-based ventures. Strategic Management Journal, 21(3): 615–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lee, H., Smith, K. G., Grimm, C. M., & Schomburg, A. 2000. Timing, order and durability of new product advantages with imitation. Strategic Management Journal, 21(1): 23–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lenz, R. T. 1980. Environment, strategy, organization structure and performance: Patterns in one industry. Strategic Management Journal, 1(3): 209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Levitt, B., & March, J. G. 1988. Organizational learning. Annual Review of Sociology, 14: 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lieberman, M. B., & Asaba, S. 2006. Why do firms imitate each other?. Academy of Management Review, 31(2): 366–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Maitland, E., Rose, E. L., & Nicholas, S. 2005. How firms grow: Clustering as a dynamic model of internationalization. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(4): 435–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. March, J. G., & Shapira, Z. 1992. Variable risk preferences and the focus of attention. Psychological Review, 99: 172–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mariti, P., & Smiley, R. H. 1983. Co-operative agreements and the organization of industry. Journal of industrial economics, 31(4): 437–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Miller, D. 1990. The Icarus Paradox: How exceptional companies bring about their own downfall. New York: HarperBusiness.Google Scholar
  60. Miller, D., & Chen, M.-J. 1994. Sources and consequences of competitive inertia: A study of the U.S. airline industry. Administrative Science Quarterly, 39(1): 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Miller, D., & Chen, M.-J. 1996a. Nonconformity in competitive repertoires: A sociological view of markets. Social Forces, 74(4): 1209–1234.Google Scholar
  62. Miller, D., & Chen, M.-J. 1996b. The simplicity of competitive repertoires: An empirical analysis. Strategic Management Journal, 17: 419–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Miller, D., & Friesen, P. H. 1980. Momentum and revolution in organizational adaptation. Academy of Management Journal, 23(4): 591–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Miner, A. S., & Haunschild, P. R. 1995. Population level learning. Research in Organisational Behaviour, 17: 115–166.Google Scholar
  65. Mintzberg, H., & McHugh, A. 1985. Strategy formation in an adhocracy. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30(1): 160–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mowery, D. C., Oxley, J. E., & Silverman, B. S. 1996. Strategic alliance and interfirm knowledge transfer. Strategic Management Journal, 17(Winter Special Issue): 77–91.Google Scholar
  67. Nelson, D. B. 1988. The time series behavior of stock market volatility and returns. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, MIT Economics Department, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  68. Nelson, R. R., & Winter, S. G. 1982. An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge: Belknap.Google Scholar
  69. Perreault, W. D., & Leigh, L. E. 1989. Reliability of nominal data based on qualitative judgments. JMR, Journal of Marketing Research, 26(2): 135–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Phillips, D. J., & Zuckerman, E. W. 2001. Middle-status conformity: Theoretical restatement and empirical demonstration in two markets. American Journal of Sociology, 107(2): 379–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Quinn, J. B. 1980. Strategies for change: Logical incrementalism. Homewood, IL: Irwin.Google Scholar
  72. Rosenkopf, L., & Almeida, P. 2003. Overcoming local search through alliances and mobility. Management Science, 49(6): 751–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rosenkopf, L., & Nerkar, A. 2001. Beyond local search: Boundary-spanning, exploration, and impact in the optical disc industry. Strategic Management Journal, 22(4): 287–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Schulz, M. 2002. Organizational learning. In J. A. C. Baum (Ed.). The Blackwell Companion to Organization: 415–441. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
  75. Silverman, B. S., & Baum, J. A. C. 2002. Alliance-based competitive dynamics. Academy of Management Journal, 45(4): 791–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Singh, K., & Mitchell, W. 1996. Precarious collaboration: Business survival after partners shut down or form new partnerships. Strategic Management Journal, 17: 99–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Smith, K. G., Grimm, C. M., Gannon, M. J., & Chen, M.-J. 1991. Organizational information processing. competitive responses and performance in the U.S. domestic airline industry. Academy of Management Journal, 34(1): 60–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stuart, T. E., Hoang, H., & Hybels, R. C. 1999. Interorganizational endorsements and the performance of entrepreneurial ventures. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44(2): 315–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tolbert, P. S., & Zucker, L. G. 1983. Institutional source of change in the formal structure of organizations: The diffusion of civil service reform,1880–1935. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28(1): 22–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wade, J. 1995. Dynamics of organizational communities and technological bandwagons: An empirical investigation of community evolution in the microprocessor market. Strategic Management Journal, 16: 113–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Young, G., Smith, K. G., & Grimm, C. M. 1996. “Austrian” and industrial organization perspectives on firm-level competitive activity and performance. Organization Science, 7(3): 243–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessYonsei UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations