Santa Clara University

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Major Takeaways

Infrastructure
Due to the bold economic development plans post Korean War, South Korea has invested significantly in infrastructure to become a modern, technological society.  Seoul has gone beyond general infrastructure improvements and has also completed beautification projects, such as the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon stream that passed through the downtown.  South Korea has planned projects to further improve capacity and capabilities in transport, water resources and sanitation, power generation and telecommunications.  Projects such as these, in conjunction with a large, well-educated work force suitable for high value-add manufacturing and a knowledge-based economy, have contributed to South Korea’s economic success relative to other OECD countries.

 

High Tech Business
South Korea has an innovation-friendly culture, advanced technology infrastructure, and a growing flow of highly skilled labor. These resources have allowed South Korea to become one of world's leaders in technology development. Samsung, Daewoo, Lucky and Goldstar (LG), and Hyundai are prime examples of globally-recognized, innovative, technologically advanced companies. Our group has the opportunity to tour multiple Samsung sites.

 

Business Culture
Personal relationships based on mutual trust and benefit are vital to business success in South Korea. As part of relationship-building, we exchanged gifts with the Korean companies we visited. Gift exchange is a common business practice intended to build relationships and sometimes to secure favors in Korea. In the Western business culture, a distinct line separates personal and business relationships. In Korea, the two often blend together.
 
Posted by: O. Chan, O. Leung
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The Cheonggyecheon stream through downtown Seoul has been restored and beautified as a part of recent South Korean infrastructure improvements.

 

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Professor Toppel (top left) and J.K. Choi (bottom right) in 1980.

 

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Professor Toppel and J.K. Choi (now President of HP Korea) in 2008.
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