case 2.1 SK TELKOM GOES EGLATARIAN

Topics: South Korea, Koreans, Korean language Pages: 6 (1957 words) Published: February 23, 2014
1. SK Company is trying to distant itself from South Korea’s culture of deferring to people in higher positions, as it is deeply ingrained in telecommunication companies. In other words, lower level employees are simply supposed to obey the things that they are told to do, with no interest of getting feedback or opinion of their own. It is stated in the case study one of the famous telecommunications company, such as Samsung, did not allow junior staffs to start conversations with anyone that the position is higher than their boss. High-level positioned employees in SK Telecom would also dismiss a debate just by declaring that the discussion was over. Other than the five-tier management employees, vice presidents and above are highly respected in the company, therefore not having to change their title or status in the company. People in charge of projects or people also have their rights and power within SK Company, and are called “Team Leader”. Brilliant ideas from the junior staffs are often shot down by the employees that are in power over them. Artifacts resulting from South Korean’s cultural value could be lack of self-enhancement. Self enhancement is a key ingredient in the self-concept picture, it is the desire to feel valued. In this case, junior staffs do not feel valued at any way, which also could result in them going through low mental and physical health. Low level staffs would also lack self-esteem (a third key ingredient of self-concept), or confidence, which will make them feel as if they are not doing a good enough job all the time. 2. In our opinion, why is this hierarchical value so strong in South Korea? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this value in society? Based on our research, South Korea follow the teaching of Confucius and one of the teachings of Confucius is to respect the elderly. It has been that way since South Korea is still in an agriculture society 40 years ago. In our opinion, since the tradition has been used for a very long time and has been used until now until South Korea becomes an industrial society, the hierarchical value is very strong. They believe that the hierarchy system works before and will work for further use. In the past, when South Koreans are still an agriculture society, the people who have more knowledge about farming are respected because in that time, knowledge can only be acquired by experience. That’s one of the reasons why South Koreans respect their elders. Because of following the teaching of Confucius, South Korean people still implemented this tradition until now. For example, one of the traditions of hierarchical drink is customary. Of course there will be some advantages and disadvantages in applying the hierarchy in society. One of the advantages is that people will learn to respect their elderly and they will learn to be more polite. Another advantage is that when in an organization, the reporting structure and authority will be clear so there will be less confusion. One of the disadvantages is South Koreans may difficult to adjust with the western culture in which are less strict in terms of hierarchy and the younger can communicate with the elder openly, without forgetting the polite manner. Hierarchical value could result in lack of communication and also lack of creativity, which could bring problems in society or even organization. 3. In our opinion, SK Telecom will be successful in integrating egalitarian culture into their organization, even though it is contrast with the South Korean Culture end even though it needs time to change the employee 's mindset from traditional South Korea culture to egalitarian culture, furthermore it is supported by the survey that 80 % of employees supports the change. South Korean culture has been entrenched in the SK Telecom, but in a world of global competition forced the old value should be changed, this external factors makes SK Telecom must change their values ​​and culture. Because if they still...
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