MAINTAINING THE “SINGLE SAMSUNG” SPIRIT: NEW CHALLENGES
IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
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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... [continues]
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