Samsung’s Cultural Influence
Samsung’s mission is “to inspire the world with innovative technologies, products, and designs that enrich peoples lives and contribute to a socially responsible, sustainable future” (Seth, 2013). Expanding its Korean roots throughout the rest of the world not only allowed the company to survive, but has made it possible for them to grow rapidly into industry leaders in technology and be internationally recognized as a top 10 global brand. This success did not come without a whirlwind of managerial challenges and controversy. The objective is to provide information on Samsung’s decision to expand internationally, describe the managerial challenges faced through ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, expanding the amount of products and diversifying itself into new business avenues to create revenue were crucial to the company’s ability to survive. This thought process was great but Lee understood that Korea lacked in technology and expertise in the electronics industry, which he viewed as the biggest area of opportunity for the future of the company and quite honestly is the reason it is a power house global company today. “We need high caliber global talents who can provide perspective on trends and the latest information” (Lee, 2013, p. 21). Unlike most of the cultural belief and background of the Korean government and the people, there was an understanding that it was necessary for the company to expand globally.
The global expansion and success has not come without challenges some of which they still face today. From a cultural perspective there are issues of corruption, business ethics, and outsourcing complications that have come up. Samsung is highly influenced by the South Korean government and is weary to stray from the cultural beliefs for fear of negative response and controversy it would create among the Korean people and government whom do not think highly of globalization. From an ethical stand point there is a long list of poor work conditions, excessive hours worked by employees, and violations of anticompetitive practices. The Korean culture is very ethnocentric, which means they like control of the situation from every aspect and do not want to relinquish anything to others. Samsung defends its in-house manufacturing strategy as the “main strength of the company” (Reuters, 2012, para.11).
Issue in Sociological Framework
According to Ahlstrom and Bruton, (2010), the concept of Confucius that there is a hierarchical order to relationships and people should know their place is very influential in Korean society (p. 46). This difference in relationships among people has created issues in Samsung’s effectiveness to globalize in countries with individualized cultures like that of North American countries. “Without doubt, the expressive, open character typical of Koreans helps develop loyalty and good relations with workers. But there are deep-seated problems in the top -down, authoritarian style of Korean Management” (Brull, 1995, para. 12). Some of the struggle for Samsung to break from this management style has to do with the time orientation and the deep traditions and history that the culture believes in.
Prior to 1993 Samsung operated under a functional organizational structure under global strategy, which allowed their headquarters to control all aspects of the business. The company organized itself around the semi-conductor, electronic, and agricultural business in which all were controlled and lead by corporate headquarters in Korea. Economic struggles in Korea made it inevitable that the company was going to have to make changes to its organizational structure if it was going to...