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					South Korea

Virtual Team Project – Team 82

Table of Contents

I. Team Introduction II. Managerial Practices III. Behaviors IV. Dominant Values V. Expectations VI. Cultural Value Differences - Country vs Hofstede VII. Adjusting to Managerial Practices VIII. Adjusting to Behavioral Differences IX. Verification Interview X. Training Guide XI. Team Process XII. Appendix

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Team Introduction
Orlando Araujo Sarah Breen Trevor Speirs TONG Ching Tung

Home: Vitoria, ESBrazil, living in HelsinkiFinland Ethnicity: Mixed. Biracial parents (black and white)

Home: Austin – Texas, living in Seattle, Washington - USA Ethnicity: White Age: 30 Work: Project management – Asian Markets Studies: MBA in Business, University of Washington, Seattle Scenario #1: A Scenario #2: B Values: ¨Take responsibility for your actions¨

Home: Ontario, Canada living in Irvine, California - USA Ethnicity: White Age: 33 Work: Management Consultancy, - Intellectual Property Studies: MBA in Business, UC Irvine Scenario #1: Answer A Scenario #2: Answer B Values: ¨Individual Accountability – Work smarter, not harder¨

Home: Hong Kong Ethnicity: Asian Age: 31 Work: Production Quality ¨Made in China¨ industry Studies: MA Global Business Management Scenario #1: B Scenario #2: A Values: ¨Human Relationships. Play hard, Work Hard¨

Age: 24
Work: Trading, Management Studies: M.Sc. International Management Scenario #1: Answer A Scenario #2: Answer B Values: ¨Humans are social beings¨


Managerial Practices
• Work / Leisure
– – Conservative with a strong work ethic Harmony and structure are emphasized, although there is a growing emphasis on creativity and innovation. Age is one of the most essential components in working relationships An older person automatically holds a level of superiority Authority in Korean companies is generally concentrated in senior levels High ranking executives have significant control over subordinates Decision-making often follows formal protocol where executive approval is required Decisions made by the group with deference given to most senior member. Loyal to family and friends, but individualism is becoming more important Highly relationship-oriented Saving face is very important Keep composure and refrain from showing you‟re upset Embarrassing another person is strongly discouraged Often reluctant to say “no”; sucking air through one‟s teeth is a definite way of saying “no”. Promptness is very important. Employees can delay the delivery of bad news to their bosses in an effort to protect them.


Direction / Delegation
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• Making an Appointment
– – – – Dress conservatively (dark suit, white shirt) Best times for meetings are 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm Be on time (but expect top Korean executives to be a few minutes late) When entering room with your team, enter and sit in order of seniority (if unsure where to sit, you may ask). Exchange of business cards in Korea is vital for initiating introductions. Important to emphasize your title so that the correct authority, status, and rank is established. Advisable to have the reverse side of your card translated into Korean. Cards should be presented and accepted with both hands and must be read and studied with respect and consideration before placing them on the table. Common practice within Korean business settings. Generally given at the first business meeting, gifts are often used to acquire favors and build relationships. You should allow the host to present his gift first and be sure to accept the gift with both hands. To avoid loss of face, gifts of similar value should be exchanged and gifts of greater value should be given to the most senior person respectively. Korean English widely taught in junior high and high school Welcome topics (S.Korea‟s economic success, cultural heritage, personal hobbies) Avoid sensitive topics (Korean War, politics, host‟s wife, personal family matters) Male dominated Drinking is often a prelude to business activities During an evening out, the most honored guest may be asked to sing a song. Refusal is considered very rude. Simply sing a simple song like “Mary had a Little Lamb”. Person who extends invitation is expected to pay for the meal, but a good-natured argument over the bill is expected.


Business Cards
– – – –


Gift Giving
– – – –

• • •

– – – – – – – –

Conversation Social activities


Dominant Values

• Family and Community - Collectivism
– There is a long-term commitment to a member group be it family or coworkers. – Someone is responsible for members in their group. They take care of one another. – There is a strong sense of family, community, and personal ties

• Uncertainty Avoidance
– Ambiguity is not well-tolerated

• Future Orientation
– Ongoing relationships are very important in business – Hasty decisions are not made. Every decision depends on what happened in the past and what effects it will have on the future.


• Greetings
– – – – – – Address people by their title or by both their title and family name. Third party introductions are preferred. Wait to be introduced. The junior employee will bow first. The senior employee will offer his hand first. Korean men greet each other with a quick bow sometimes followed by a handshake. The elderly are respected. It is customary to greet them first and spend time talking to them. In business culture, women shake hands. The senior employee will offer his hand first if he is the most senior employee (male or female) in the room. When talking or laughing, keep your voice as quiet as possible. Any criticism should be dispensed in private. A smile does not always mean happiness or approval. It can be used to mask embarrassment or other uncomfortable feelings. Personal relationships take precedence over business. In meetings, speakers may jump from one topic to another and not follow the agenda. There is no hurry in business. It make take several meetings to come to an agreement.


– – – – –


Time Flexibility


Cultural Value Differences, Country vs Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Hofstede’s Dimensions Key 0-100

South Korea
190 million, South America. Majority Roman Catholic. Family values are important. Time is relaxed. Loose time and group orientation.

Hong Kong
6 million people; China. English and Chinese; British colonial history. It‟s a mix of Eastern and Western cultures. There are many local religions, Confucian-based. Value industriousness and efficiency. 68 High Indicative of inequality of power and wealth in society, accepted as part of cultural heritage. 25 Low High for Far East Asia, due to long term British influence, yet maintains strong Asian emphasis on collectivist over individualist society.

300 million people of mixed heritage; North America. Languages English and Spanish. East Coast is more conservative and formal than West. Value consistency, persistence, and innovation. 40 Low Theoretically, equality is valued.

190 million, South America. Majority Roman Catholic. Family values are important. There is a relaxed focus on time. Group oriented.

Power Distance

60 Moderate Hierarchy is respected.

69 High Hierarchy in the organizational structure is very common 38 Low People tend to be selfless in certain actions, group-oriented.


18 Very low Very collectivist culture. Long-term commitment to the ¨member¨ group. Loyalty and strong relationships prevail.

91 Highest Society with a more individualistic attitude and relatively loose bonds with others. Population is self-reliant and looks out for themselves and close family. 62 High Higher degree of gender differentiation of roles. Females shift to male role model, more assertive and competitive. 46 Moderate Greater level of tolerance for a variety of ideas, thoughts, beliefs.


39 Low Very low mark, women and men have similar roles in society 85 High In order to lower the uncertainly, strict rules and regulations are applied.

57 Moderate

49 Moderate Increasing role of women in society

Uncertainty Avoidance

29 Low Fourth lowest in the world; Hong Kong‟s population are greater risk takers, tolerate freedom of opinions.

76 High Brazilians fear for their future stability due to the social inequality of their society.


Adjusting to South Korea’s Managerial Practices
Managerial Practices Work/ Leisure For Hong Kong Leisure and socializing is highly valued. This is not perceived as inefficient or nonindustrious, but is more a part of work satisfaction itself. Work will not be as fastpaced as either HK or US. Uncertainty avoidance is much higher in South Koreathey may be less prone to taking risks. Hierarchies are highly respected in South Korea with highly collectivist outlook. Age and gender hierarchies are not as pronounced as Hong Kong but it is very important in South Korea. Title is not always emphasize in Hong Kong, but it is important for Korean. Both Hong Kong and South Korea have a strong sense of family and community; However, loyalty on a personal level is valued higher than organization in HK, family relationships are important in business. Developing personal relationships will help ensure business deals and loyalty. Saving face is very important in both Hong Kong and South Korea. Room for negotiation is important, never quote as bottom line on the first proposal. Business in Hong Kong is faster than South Korea. Expect decisions to be made slower. For Brazil Leisure and socializing is highly valued. Highly uncertainly avoidance indicates low level of tolerance and not readily accept change in South Korea. For United States Leisure and socializing is highly valued. This is not indicative of inefficiency or a poor work ethic, but is more a part of work satisfaction itself. Uncertainty avoidance is high in South Korea, which may be challenging to an American. Power distance is more evident in South Korea. Be mindful of hierarchies, especially in more traditional atmospheres (South Korea‟s individualism dimension is significantly lower!). Make sure all decisions have been made by the authorized person. South Korea has a strong sense of family and community; loyalty is often on both personal and organization level. Sense of belonging and fitting in is important. Developing personal relationships will help ensure business deals and loyalty.

Delegation/ Control

Hierarchy structure in Brazil, seniors should be more respected. Gender hierarchies is changing towards female. Final decision only made by the top management. However, decisions should be made by authorized person, whom may not be the most senior position. As a high collectivist culture, Loyalty is paramount in Brazil, and often over-rides most other societal rules. It is not often the case in South Korea.



Numerical data is not very important for negotiation in Brazil, but it is important in South Korea. Time is somewhat flexible but also scheduled for Brazilians. In South Korea, timing is very important, but a senior executive may be a few minutes late.

South Korea with a high context culture, therefore you must make sure you get the right meaning in any negotiation by paying attention to body language. Similar time management attitudes in both South Korea and US. A S.Korean may not immediately deliver bad news to a boss in an effort to protect him.



Adjusting to South Korea’s Managerial Practices - Behavioral Comparisons
South Korea Appearance Dress conservatively, good taste, high quality. HK Red is a lucky color in Hong Kong. Color white is synonymous with death. Avoid white and blue in social situations. Brazil Dark suits in black, charcoal gray or navy blue. Not only the color, also the material. Elegant dresses and blouses are good for women on formal dressing. Black and purple are the mourning color. Body language such as touching cheek, kissing the air, handshakes and eye contact. Gift giving would be more appropriated in social situation. Avoiding personal gift and handkerchiefs. Smoking is not allowed in most public places. USA Suits and ties in major cities (dark). For formal meetings, choose white or light blue shirts. Women should wear suit or dress with jacket. Rural areas more informal. Casual appropriate in non-work related meeting.


Family most important, drinking and gift giving is important, as is hosting people to dinner. Smoking is allowed in common area. Third party introduction is preferred to self-introduction. Bow is preferred. In General, it is a high context culture. Greetings with social niceties- bow, firm handshake and eye contact. Lunch and dinner are important part of business life; Bars and other informal communication is important. Do not address someone with their name only.

Toasting is important, and everyone should drink. It is impolite to refuse to drink. Gift giving is important, as is hosting people to dinner but be careful of ICAC. Smoking not allowed in many public or private places since 2007

Business conversation may occur during meals, however S.Korea should only occur if host raises issue. Dinner is more for socializing than other meals. Gift giving discouraged by many companies, but invitation to a meal is acceptable. Wait in queues for your turn. Smoking not allowed in many public or private places. Offer a firm handshake of 1-3 seconds. In S.Korea, bow first to the senior member in the room, then shake hands. Maintain good eye contact to show confidence and sincerity. Smile or hello is a sign of friendliness. U.S. more direct and will need to soften this trait and pay attention to context.


Handshakes are common, or a slight bow for respect. Applause is common. Chinese converse closely together. Silence held in high regard. Use title names when possible. Appointments recommended. Punctuality important. Use black and white, not colors, for presentations.

Family names are not common to be used in social communication. Surnames may be used in case of traditional families or respected surnames. Professional titles should be used in business communication. Brazilians value socialization when doing business.


Verification Interview
• Interviewee
– 金中煜 (금중욱) born and raised in Seoul, South Korea; working in Hong Kong for over three years in a multi-national Korea Company.


Notable Differences
– Managerial Practices
• • • • Power distance – the new generations are less influence by hierarchy than before. Loyalty – Employee looking for more opportunity rather than lifelong employment. Age is less important in the real world. Gift is less important Closer to 100% of the population speaks Korean ; although most of population has study English, only very less speaks well. Sports – Kickboxing (Taekwondo) Movies – both local and oversea movies


• • •

Conversation Topics


Training Guide • Three individual training strategies
– Language – Korean Culture and Background – Company Background in South Korea

• Language
– Recommend one year of formal Korean training

• South Korea Culture and Background
– Teach South Korea‟s Background - include history, geography, capital, major cities, nationality, population, annual growth rate, work force – Communicate South Korea‟s Culture - include culture behaviors, values, social activities, religion, major festivals / holidays, dieting behaviors, living standards

• Target Company Background
– Organization charts, key executives, business activities, customer base, company objectives and target, hours of operation, holidays, staff benefits/incentives


Team Process
• Summary of Team Process
– Accomplishing goals/task
• • • • • • Began with email to set-up common time for a chat Time was agreed upon, chat via MSN, topics agreed to in previous chat session Chat was casual and loosely adhered to agenda Timing of slides was later discussed during chats Tasks and timeline were divided and discussed during chats Each person emailed their task and slide to the entire group for editing; approved in chats, next slide was begun by assigned member • All worked together to complete „Team Process‟ slide and approve final draft


Points of Difficulty
– Timing – work and school commitments made it difficult to meet chat requirements – Chat call
• Method used - challenge managing the conversation; first chat took over 2 hours

– Time Zones
• Due to time zones, finding a common time was difficult

– Editing
• Editing during chats proved inefficient • Eventually members took turns going through the entire presentation.



Virtual Team Project – Team 82

Sources • Managerial Practices

• Comparing Cultural Values/Managerial Practices
– – –

• Behaviors

• Dominant Values

• Expectations


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