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Shaista E. Khilji, Chang Hwan Oh and Nisha N. Manikoth wrote this case solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.

Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation prohibits any form of reproduction, storage or transmission without its written permission. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7; phone (519) 661-3208; fax (519) 661-3882; e-mail

Copyright © 2011, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation Version: 2011-07-08

In 2009, the world economy was hit hard by the financial crisis that unfolded in the United States. A number of industries, including the financial, automotive and real-estate industries, were engulfed in this meltdown. The electronics industry was not an exception. Sony, the leading global electronics company, announced that it was likely to post net losses of ¥228 billion1 for the fiscal year 2008 and, in preparation, laid off 16,000 of its employees.2 However, Samsung astounded everyone with its impressive financial performance. Although Samsung predicted a .100 billion3 deficit in the first quarter of 2009, it emerged with a .40 billion surplus for that period.4 A critical factor that contributed to Samsung’s superior performance was its strong investment in its employees. The fact that South Korea, the home base of Samsung, made deliberate national efforts to develop its human resources provided for a rich environment in which...

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