South Korea Socio Cultural Report

924 words - 4 pages

It is important to understand the Korean Culture in order to successfullyconduct business in this country. There are many differences in the way thatAmericans behave and conduct business versus the way Koreans do business.Korean cultureIt is important to understand the Korean culture. Koreans strive to maintainKibun. There is no exact translation to the word Kibun in the English vocabulary(Kim, 2006). This term is best described in terms of pride, face, mood, or state ofmind. In order to maintain a Korean's sense of Kibun, especially in a businesscontext, one must show the proper respect and avoid causing loss of face. In aculture where social harmony is essential, the ability to identify another's state ofmind is crucial to successful business. For this reason, it is important to be awareof subtleties in communication, observing non-verbal and indirect cues that oftensuggest the true sense of what is being communicated (Kim, 2006).This is unlike the American culture where we speak our minds anddemand what we want. The Korean Culture is more delicate and one must learnhow to read the other person through body language and physical cues.Koreans put great importance on many social concerns, these includeobligation towards others, respect for family, elders and authority, and they areloyal and honor one another. Americans do not tend to have the same loyaltyand respect for one another as Koreans do (Kim, 2006). In order to do businesssuccessfully with this culture one must abide by these rules.It is important to understand that In Korea, personal relationships takeprecedence over business. In order to be successful, it is vital to establish good,personal relationships based on mutual trust and benefit (Kim, 2006). Koreanbusiness culture is firmly grounded in respectful rapport and in order to establishthis, it is essential that the correct initial contact is made. It is important that anew business introduces and approaches the Korean company through a mutualfriend or acquaintance. Koreans spend a significant amount of time developingand fostering personal contacts (Kim, 2006). Therefore, time should be allowedfor this process, especially during the first meeting, which is frequently used tosimply establish rapport and build trust. Once a good, solid relationship has beendeveloped it is important to maintain the relationship.Business HabitsBefore doing business in Korea prior appointments are required andshould generally be made a few weeks in advance. The most suitable times toarrange a business meeting are normally between 10am and 12pm or 2pm and4pm (Kim, 2006).In our American Culture we need prior appointments as well butthey can range anywhere between 9am and 6pm. Like Americans for both socialoccasions and business meetings, being punctual is essential. Korean's willexpect you to arrive on time as a sign of respect; therefore one must rememberto call beforehand if tardiness is expected (Kim, 2006).Working RelationshipsKoreans tend to delegate...

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