This study aims to examine the role of business strategy in the relationship between earnings management and MD&A readability. Previous research has shown inconsistency of results in testing the effect of earnings management on MD&A readability. This inconsistency can be caused by the fact that the business strategy variable has not been included as a contextual basis for the implementation of operational activities. Earnings management in this study is measured by real earnings management, because previous studies have used accrual earnings management. The test results on 189 cross-sectional data on publicly traded consumer goods companies show that: (1) real earnings management reduces MD&A readability in defender and prospector companies; (2) analyzer companies perform real earnings management – discretionary expenses reduce the readability of MD&A; (3) firm size as a control variable in this study has no effect on the readability of MD&A. The results of this study conclude that (1) strategy is a contextual factor that affects operational activities and ultimately on the readability of MD&A, (2) earnings management through discretionary expense activities reduces the readability of MD&A, regardless of the business strategy adopted by the company.