Learning effective organizational strategies across cultures: Leading change in Korean organizations
Heejung Song, Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University, United States
Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University . Awarded
With the rapid integration of new business practices as a necessary component of the modern business environment, leaders and managers in Korean organizations have realized the need for more effective strategies to manage change. The country has undergone fundamental reforms to maintain equilibrium in the face of massive national and international economic forces as well as the accelerating pace of globalization and technology development. Therefore, it is necessary for Korean leaders and managers to develop an understanding of change management appropriate for Korean culture and organizational systems.
The purpose of the study was to adapt a problem-based computer simulation program, Making Change Happen™ (MCH) (Mundry, Hergert, & Hallinger, 1999), specifically for the Korean culture, in order to help Korean managers learn organizational strategies for effective change management. The development of the Korean version of MCH follows a research and develop model entailing a review of literature, preliminary data collection for the initial revision, development of the Korean simulation, field tests and evaluations, and a final revision. Cultural differences and their impact on change management among the United States, Thailand, and South Korea are described based on Hofstede's (1997) cultural matrix.
Two field tests were conducted with graduate students in MBA and HRM programs at Pusan National University, South Korea. Evaluations measure the efficacy of the simulation revisions for cultural and institutional adaptation and the participants' knowledge acquisition. Evaluations of the field tests suggest that effective communication strategies, formal documentation procedures, and the leader's role are all critical to managing change in Korean culture. The implications of the impact of cultural differences on change, the application of problem-based learning to management, and the usage of computer-based learning technologies in training in Korean organizations were discussed.
Song, H. Learning effective organizational strategies across cultures: Leading change in Korean organizations. Ph.D. thesis, Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University.
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