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Managing Human Resources in Asia-Pacific, 2nd Edition by Pawan S. Budhwar, Arup Varma

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3

Human Resources Management in South Korea

Chris Rowley and Johngseok Bae

Introduction

This chapter is concerned with human resource management (HRM) in South Korea (hereafter just ‘Korea’), the third largest economy in Asia and the 13th largest economy (in 2011) in the world (the 11th largest just before the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis). While at first sight it may be assumed to be a ‘typical’ Asian country in terms of its HRM, the reality is less clear-cut, with many particular practices. The key characteristics of Korean HRM revolve around practices based on ‘regulation’ (or ‘seniority’) versus more ‘flexibility’ in labour markets (with easier job shedding) and remuneration (with greater focus on performance). Paradoxically, some influences ...

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