Doing Business in Korea Essay

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Korea is a homogenous country, speaking one language, with a large sense of pride in their nation and ancestors. The Korean culture is very foreign from that of Western society. Korea’s business culture is difficult for Americans to decipher. There are websites such as Korea4expats, koreanzbc, and even studies at universities such as Miami have done studies on these significant differences in business culture. American businesses biggest opportunity with Korea businesses is shifting away from their direct approach and understanding Korea’s underlying tones and nonverbal behaviors (Korea4expats, 2012). International businesses interacting with Korea need to understand the difference in Korea’s culturally defined communication practices.…show more content…
In order to overcome the cross-cultural differences one needs to understand what the challenges are. According to the textbook, Hoefstede’s research on national culture gives businesses an outline of generalized differences to look for between cultures. First, compare and see if the two countries are individualist or collectivist. The United States has an individualist culture while Korea is a collectivist culture. This could possibly be interpreted that while American businessmen are seeking out new ventures through international trade for self-interest, Korean businesses are seeking out new ventures to bring overall growth to their company and even their nation. Different reasons to begin international trade can cause the two businesses to want different outcomes later in the relationship. Another aspect of cross-cultural risk is uncertainty avoidance. Americans have a culture of feeling comfortable with uncertainty, thus they have low uncertainty avoidance. Koreans have high uncertainty avoidance and like to know expectations upfront. This is a very important detail when conducting a business, because Korean businesses’ will most likely want to have a more detailed plan going over multiple options, while Americans would want a direct concise plan. The last dimension of Hoefstede’s research was added to portray a better
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