The Korean Management System: Cultural, Political, Economic Foundations

The Korean Management System: Cultural, Political, Economic Foundations

The Korean Management System: Cultural, Political, Economic Foundations

The Korean Management System: Cultural, Political, Economic Foundations

Synopsis

The Korean culture and the impact of the geopolitical environment of the Korean peninsula have produced a unique behavioral pattern in both managers and workers. It is necessary to understand this behavioral pattern in order to understand the Korean management system that has played a major role in contributing to the phenomenal economic achievement of the Korean business community. Top executives, managers, and entrepreneurs doing business in Korea or with Korean businessmen will be interested in this book's discussion of the Korean management system.

Excerpt

According to a report of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD 1992), the South Korean economy achieved the highest GNP growth in the world for a quarter of a century (1965 to 1990), the average annual economic growth being an astonishing 7.1 percent. How could the Koreans have achieved such an impressive economic growth? Before the economic take-off, the Korean economy had remained one of the poorest economies in the world. We came to the United States from South Korea when the GNP per capita was barely $100.

We attribute this phenomenal achievement to the industrious Koreans. In government, technocrats effectively formulated and implemented the economic policy through five-year economic planning, and in business, entrepreneurs and managers boldly formulated and skillfully implemented business strategies for their enterprises. Their employees effectively transformed these business strategies into viable goods and services through long, hard working hours. As a whole, the Korean people have nurtured a society that empowered its people through its educational system, family system, and fierce competition despite adverse environmental situations of the Korean peninsula.

Understanding the Korean management system is a prerequisite to understanding the rapid economic growth in South Korea. Without an effective management system, no economy can achieve rapid economic growth. The management system in South Korea, therefore, must be effective, and the purpose of this book is to help the reader to understand it.

Management systems are functions of their own cultures. The Korean culture is unique, even though it shares certain features of Oriental culture with the Chinese and the Japanese. In this book, we emphasize the importance of examining the culture in order to understand a manage-

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