1st Edition

Employment Relations and HRM in South Korea

By Dong-One Kim, Johngseok Bae Copyright 2004

    South Korea is one of the rare countries that has experienced political/industrial democratization and economic development simultaneously in a relatively short period. However, the full story of democratization and development processes displays two faces - positive and negative aspects to the deployment of labour/human resources. This book explains these seemingly contradictory outcomes of Korean employment relations (ER) and human resource management (HRM) based upon a theoretical framework that incorporates logics of environmental constraints and strategies of actors. During three key periods of the previous century (i.e., pre-1987, 1987 - 1997 and post-1997), the book discusses the paradigm shift in both ER and HRM. This much-needed text contains informative details on Korean ER and HRM of past and present, with theoretical and practical views, and of transformations and continuities. The book provides policy implications that will stimulate constructive debates regarding the mutual-gains strategies for policy makers, management and employees.

    Contents: Introduction and Contents of Employment Relations and HRM: Introduction; Economic development, the labour market and actors in employment relations; Cultural background and organizational strategy. The Origins and Evolution of Korean Employment Relations: Employment relations in Korea, 1890 - 1986: 100 years of labour suppression; Korean employment relations, 1987-1996: experiments with pluralism and tripartism; Changing employment relations in the era of financial crisis and organizational restructuring. Korean HRM Systems: Past and Present: The origins and evolution of HRM, 1910 - 1987: a historical sketch; HRM systems in transition. Illustrations of Korean Employment Relations and HRM Systems: Employment relations and HRM in practice: case studies. Conclusion: Summary and conclusion: Korean employment relations and HRM at the crossroads; Index.


    Dong-One Kim, Johngseok Bae

    'This book is based on a detailed study of Korean organizational practices. It will be of use to those studying employment relations and HRM in South Korea.' Professor Malcolm Warner, University of Cambridge, UK 'Professors Kim and Bae have produced an impressive and highly engaging work dealing with the ongoing transformation of employment systems in Korea...the book will be of interest to anyone concerned with human resources and employment relations in the region.' Professor John J. Lawler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA ''This new, useful and exciting book is a warmly welcomed addition to the area of employment relations (ER) and human resource management (HRM). It is written by two very experienced and well known authors and scholars. ...this book will be of great use for those with teaching, research and general interests in ER and HRM in Korea, Asia and internationally. It should be on reading lists in a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in ER and HRM as well as International Business...' Dr Chris Rowley, City University, UK, and Editor, Asia Pacific Business Review 'This is a first-rate piece of work: a careful analysis of the Korean miracle with insights drawn from a broad range of recent thinking in industrial relations and organizational behavior. It balances the impacts of cultural, economic and political influences on both macro labor-management relations and micro human-resources policies. It is a model for research in other countries.' Professor George Strauss, University of California at Berkeley, USA