Financial Ethics and Customer Service in South Korea and the USA
Proceedings of the Academy of Economics and Economic Education Volume 20, Number 1, 2016
5 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2019
Date Written: April 12, 2017
Ethical differences between South Korea and the United States. South Korea is heavily influenced by Confucius values and it is evident in their business culture. Confucian ethics permeate all aspects of working life, from management systems to interpersonal relationships. There has been an increasing influence of western culture but the change has been slow because of their deep conservatism within Confucian values. Confucian values emphasis the value of collective group harmony, respect for authority, as well as the importance of embracing family and friends. Korean’s have a saying that states, “Make a friend first and a client second.” It is also important to appear to be an honorable, trustworthy, and respectable person. A lot of these values are very different from the Western culture and can take some time to adjust to. When doing business in South Korea these ethical differences should be recognized so that future business relations are not hindered. Using data from Hofstede’s 6 Dimensional Model South Korean ranks lower in Individualism, Masculinity, and Indulgence than the United States of America. South Korea is a very interdependent society. They don’t just look out for themselves or their immediate family but they are always looking out for their groups. In a collectivist society like Korea, people’s self-image is defined by “we” and not “I”. With a score of 18, this is manifest of the commitment to be part of a group instead of being alone. South Korea also ranks low on the Masculinity scale which would make it a Feminine society. The focus here is working in order to live.
Keywords: South Korea, Hofstede, Cultural Differences
JEL Classification: M16, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation