Your company plans to establish MNE manufacturing operations in South Korea. You have been asked to conduct a cultural audit focusing on leadership behaviors of South Korea. The results of your report will be used for internal training for plant managers due to be reassigned to work with South Korean managers in a few months. You are aware of a high-collectivism culture with a Confucian code of ethical behavior in South Korea. What kinds of South Korean leadership behaviors would you expect to include in your report? Describe these in terms of interaction between the U.S. and Korean managers as well as interaction between Korean leader-followers.
Recently, South Korea and the U.S have proceeded in efforts aiming to become closer trading partners through allowing the U.S-Korea Free Trade Agreement and FTAs. With the more economic integration, there is need for a stronger understanding of all the influences of each other’s cultures(Bass, 1990). Some major influences include history, religion and philosophy, the influences of these cultures in leadership style need to be explored.
The avoidance or absence of leadership in South Korea is one of the unique leadership aspects.Leaders mostly avoid getting involved when most important issues arise among their followers. When the management is considered in South Korea, respect for employees is around 30.4%, initiator attitude is 22.8% and summoning spirit is 20.8%.
The overview of the traits and leadership styles of South Korean CEOs focused on comparing successful and unsuccessful South Korean firms. With these traits, three leadership styles can be deduced which are; network builders, can do spirit and battlefield commander (Shin, 1999).
Similar evidence can be reported when comparing leadership perceptions in South Korea and the U.S. (Yoon, 2009). The interaction among the Korean managers and the U.S and also between the leaders and followers, shown cultural uniqueness in some leadership concepts. Americans are prone to report more explicit behaviors than South Koreans. The South Koreanshave abstract features ofleadership among them intuitive, harmonious and good administrator. These different results might be due to not only culture or history but also current circumstances in the two countries.
As a result of the ethnicity identity of both the leader and the follower, interaction between leaders and followers in any organization was influenced. It is evident that South Korean have a holistic view whereas Americans have an analytic view of leadership representation. These unique characteristics in leadership makes the two states experiences some extensions during interactions. The managers from South Korea could not interact effectively as expected with both the followers and the U.S.
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