The Impact of Korean Culture in a Global Business Context

March 11-15, 2019


1. Course Title: Globalization and Innovation : The Case of South Korea

Course Description

This course gives an overview of current status of Korean business environment, including an introduction to the Korean economy, history, culture and representative enterprises in a variety of industries and fields. Lectures and seminars on a wide range of functional areas peculiar to Korean economy will be provided. The course consists of lectures, presentations and discussions led by SNU faculty members and distinguished guest speakers; visits to companies; final group project; and local cultural events. 

2. Venue

The Lecture sessions will be held in Room 121, LG Building (Bldg. 59) of SNU main campus (click to see the campus map).

3. Schedule and Lecture Topics (They are subject to change)

Day 1 (March 11th , 2019) 
The Legacy of the Past (Korean History)
Changing World Order and Korean Peninsula
Welcome Lunch and Ice-Breaking
Big Business Group and Corporate Governance in Korea

Day 2 (March 12
th, 2019) 
Group Project Working Session l
Inter-Korean Relations and its Impact on the Northeast Asian Region
Organizational Culture in Korean Firms
Company Visit l

Day 3 (March 13th, 2019)
Samsung Way l & ll
Group Project Working Session ll
Cultural Program l & ll

Day 4 (March 14th, 2019) 
Business in Korea & Bridging the Cultural Gap
Doing Business in Korea from American's Perspective
Company Visit ll

Day 5 (March 15th, 2019) 
An Analysis of Korean Entertainment Business and Korean Wave (K-POP)
Group Project Working Session & Final Presentation

 4. Assignments 

1) Individual Assignment (pre-departure assignment)
(submit to due by a week before Day 1) 

As part of the preparation, the first assignment will be creation of a briefing book containing useful information on business, historical, and political environment of Korea. To create the briefing book, each student will choose one specific topic below and must prepare a report (please refer to the guidelines). It is strongly recommended that your assignment includes all questions in the selected topic area.

  • Topic 1: History and Culture of Korea 
     a) The Korean War (1950~1953)
     b) Economic Growth and Democratization (1960~1990)
     c) Education System in Korea 
  • Topic 2: North Korea's Nuclear Development and Korean Peninsula
     a) Ideology conflict between the two Koreas
     b) Sunshine Engagement
     c) Kaesung Industrial Complex

  • Topic 3: Corporate Governance / Accounting Transparency in Korea
     a) Past and present state of the banking system.
     b) Key financial institutions, main players, regulatory framework.
     c) Financial markets. Main markets and institutions.
     d) Capital market regulatory reform in Korea: Consolidated capital markets law


  • Length: 7 pages maximum (no less than 5)
  • Font: 12 point Arial, single spaced with an extra space between each paragraph
  • Each student can attach additional items such as tables, charts, suggested websites and readings, etc. These do not count in the suggested length.
  • Do not use any headers or footers.
  • Do not insert any page numbers.
  • The report should include 3 major sections:
    • General introduction to the Topic
    • Specific responses to the topic area
    • Conclusion

2) Group Assignment (Will be completed and presented during the class)
Select any company located in your home country. The company selected would be entering Korea for the first time, or launching a new line of business in Korea. Consider an expansion plan/joint business plan in Korea. Domestic students can paraphrase by selecting any Korean-based company which is entering a global market. Please send the assignment via email ( by 2pm, Day 5.


  • Group size: 7-8 participants
  • Length: 15 PPT slides maximum
  • Covering the following issues:
    • Strategic opportunities for this company to expand its operation into Korea
    • Assessment of the Korea’ business environment
    • Business model: How to localize the company to succeed in Korea

Each group will be required to give 10-minute presentation with the assignment to be evaluated by the instructor and each member in the group must participate in the presentation.

5. Grading will be given pass/fail

25%   1st Assignment (Individual Work)
50%   2nd Assignment (Group Project and Presentation)
25%   Class participation and attendance

Total of 100 Points

*IMPORTANT: Attendance is mandatory at all classroom sessions and official visits during the program. Participants are expected to arrive at classroom sessions on time every day. Those who arrive 0-10 minutes late to class will be marked tardy. Tardiness and any absence without prior approval or supporting documentation will result in grade reduction.

6. Required Materials

Participants are required to purchase Samsung Way (Transformational Management Strategies from the World Leader in Innovation and Design) prior to Prof. Song Jaeyong’s lecture on Wednesday. Additional readings, consisting of articles and case studies, will be provided in advance of the first day via e-mail if necessary.

7. Attire Policy

All participants are expected to wear “Business Casual” for all company visits. During class sessions, comfortable suits are allowed. (Flip flops, short sleeveless shirts and short pants are prohibited)

About Seoul National University

Seoul National University (SNU) is the pre-eminent leader of advanced education in Korea and has earned its reputation by living up to the highest standards in both research and teaching. According to the QS world university rankings, SNU ranked the 31th best university in 2014. It is located at the foot of magnificent Gwanak Mountain in the southern part of Seoul (about 30-40 minutes from the center city by bus or subway), and covers an area of approximately 4.5 km2. Currently about 23,000 undergraduate students and 8,000 graduate students enroll in various academic programs at SNU. More than 1,700 faculty members from around the world teach and conduct research here.

SNU business school was accredited by the AACSB in 2002 which is the first accreditation in Korea. The school has four degree programs (undergraduate, master, Ph.D., and MBA programs) and more than a dozen of non-degree executive programs for leading Korean companies. Our business school programs have long led business education in Korea. For more information, please refer to