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Korean Leadership Style, Organizational Culture and Business Ethics

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Korean Leadership Style, Organizational Culture and Business Ethics

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Distribute handouts or project Powerpoint Presentation on Screen:

I. Introduction

o   [Speaker]: Good Morning. Today I will present an overview of leadership in South Korea and how it relates to the organizational culture and business ethics of their society.

o   [Speaker]: Since the 1960s, South Korea has been experiencing exponential growth in their economy. Its representative corporations from various industrial sectors have joined the global market and share substantial percentage of it.

As such, South Korea has risen to be the twelfth largest economy in the world. However, little attention has been given on the leadership style of Korean managers and how its organizational culture fosters economic growth.

II. Confucius and the Korean Concept of Leadership

o    [Present first slide: “Confucius and the Korean Concept of Leadership”]

o    [Speaker] [Present Slide (underlined passage should be projected on the screen)]: Culture is defined simply as a way of life and customs learned through various modes of socialization.

It informs social behavior including organizational leadership. To understand Korean culture, we must understand some aspects of its underlying philosphy which is Confucianism.

o    [Speaker] [Present Slide]: Confucianism sees leadership both as having an authoritative and humanitarian component. The Confucian Analects suggests that a leader must develop a virtuous character for him to be able to govern his subordinates and merit loyalty. At the same time, he must maintain high ethical standards within his jurisdiction.

o    [Speaker]: A case in point is the leadership crisis which happened in 2006, involving South Korean President Roh. [present slide: photo of Roh] Survey revealed that Roh’s approval rate went down partly as a result of a gambling scandal and irresponsible remarks about abandoning the presidency. The crisis came about because people distrusted his leadership.

III. Organizational Culture and Business Ethics in South Korea

o   [Present first slide: “Organizational Culture and Business Ethics in South Korea ”]

o   [Speaker]: Trust and loyalty is vital in Korean society. [Present slide: graph from http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_south_korea.shtml] In Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension, South Korea has a low Individualism index because their society is essentially collectivist. This means that individuals are well integrated in a cohesive group from which they benefit in exchange for their unwavering loyalty.

o   [Speaker]: This also explains that Koreans are devoted to their organizations, hence they have the attitude of referring to their firms as “my firm”. Collectivity is highly valued in their society.

o   [Speaker]: Rigid heirarchichal relationship is a primary feature of organizational culture in South Korea.

o   Subordinates are expected to observe rules and norms in an organization.

o   Confucian philosophy maintains that subordination is key to a healthy society.

o   Hence, Korean organizational culture is viewed as a collectivist one in which relationship are highly valued.

o   [Speaker]: Inequality of power distribution in an organzation is readily accepted in Korean societyThis is only logical because of the value they put on heirarchy. . [Present Slide: graph from http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_south_korea.shtml]  South Korea has a high index in Power Distribution Index which indicate how easily acceptable power inequality is in their society.

o   But Hofstede says that this power inequality is endorsed by both subordinates and leader.

o   It is not a source of conflict.

o   [Speaker] [Present Slide: graph from http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_south_korea.shtml]: Also, In the Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension, South Korea garnered a high score in the Uncertainty Avoidance index or UAI  which explains the strict rules Koreans observe. {Present slide] UAI indicates  the level of a society’s acceptance of uncertainty and ambuguity. Hostede claims that rules ensure certainty.

o   [Speaker]: These cultural factors shape the ethics they maintain in business. As such, they adhere to values such as [Present slide] loyalty and devotion to organization, respect, observance of rules and cooperation.

o   {Speaker]: Within an organization, harmonious relationship must be  observed to achieve whatever goal is set.

III. Conclusion

o   [Speaker]: In our highly globalized world, business leaders must be competetive in multicultural awareness and practices. They must understand how culture informs organizational dynamics.

o   [Speaker]: This brief presentation aims to give an overview of how culture operates.

o   [Speaker]: Thank you.


“Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions”. 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2008, from


Lee, J. H. (29 December, 2006). “South Korean Leadership In Deepening Crisis Of State”. Space             War.Retrieved 15 November 2008, from http://www.spacewar.com/reports/South_Korean



Cite this Korean Leadership Style, Organizational Culture and Business Ethics

Korean Leadership Style, Organizational Culture and Business Ethics. (2016, Dec 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/korean-leadership-style-organizational-culture-and-business-ethics/

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