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South Korea's business culture.

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Table of Contents SOUTH KOREA'S BUSINESS CULTURE INTRODUCTION 2 BUSINESS CARDS 2 CONTACTS 2 NEGOTIATIONS 2 PRESENTATIONS AND MEETINGS 3 BUSINESS HOURS 4 GIFT GIVING 4 BUSINESS ATTIRE 5 CONCLUSION 5 BIBLIOGRAPHY 5 INTRODUCTION Koreans have a unique way of doing business that is quite different from Western practices. Negotiations with Koreans can often be frustrating and confusing unless one makes an effort to understand their cultural foundations. Their business culture tends to be conservative and have a strong work ethic. Generally, harmony and structure are emphasized over innovation and experimentation. Personal relationships are highly important, and Koreans value face-to-face contacts with their Western business partners, rather than dealing over the phone or fax. Confucianism1 is strongly observed in this society Business Cards You have to take a plentiful supply of business cards, since the people you encounter in your dealings will be keen to exchange them. Have the reverse side of your card translated into Korean. Moreover, you will risk "losing face" if you do not have cards to present. As you will be judged according to your status, your title should be emphasized on your business card. This gives the recipient an idea of your job responsibility and assists your counterpart in determining the amount of decision-making authority you have. ...read more.


By remaining calm at all times, you will be perceived as being able to control your emotions, rather than allowing them to control you. Moreover, refrain from criticizing your competition or admitting that you do not know the answer to a question. You must do everything you can to prevent the occurrence of "losing face", that is, losing control of your emotions or otherwise causing embarrassment. Female business travelers may find certain situations awkward or uncomfortable. If women will be part of your negotiating team, it is important that you tell your contact, since the South Korean side may need some time to accept this arrangement. There is often a reluctance to give a direct answer of "no." Sucking in air through your teeth is one way to signal a definite answer of "no." This sound is used to indicate that there is a serious problem, even if on the surface, what is being said sounds positive. A response such as "maybe", accompanied by squinting the eyes or tipping the head back may also be used to disguise a "no" answer. A "yes" answer should not always be taken literally. For example, a "yes" may be used to disguise a non-committal response such as "I'll think about it" or an outright "no." ...read more.


Other inconvenient times include early October, a time of many holidays, and Christmas time. Gift Giving Gift-giving is often practiced in a business setting. Good gifts for a first trip include office items with your company logo or something that is commemorative of your home region. Your gift should be of good quality but modestly priced. When you plan to give a gift to several people within an organization, be sure to give a gift of greater value to the senior person. The gifts you present to that person's subordinates may be similar, as long as they are of lesser value than the one you give their superior. Business Attire In business settings, standard attire for men includes a dark suit, white shirt, and conservative tie. Women typically wear very conservative skirt and blouse combinations or business dresses. CONCLUSION Doing business in South Korea has a longer timeline than doing business abroad. In addition to the role of building a personal relationship with your counterpart, you must leave plenty of room for negotiations. These counterparts will pursue an extreme position but will be prepared to gain some common ground. This way, you and your counterparts will have benefited from the agreement. Delays in decision making on their part may be strategies in wearing you down to give in to their demands. Therefore, do not talk about deadlines which need to be met. ...read more.

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