Yonsei School of Business and the Yonsei Business Research Institute hosted an April celebration of the publication of three books in its series of studies of Korean corporate management, a project launched in 2015 as part of marking YSB’s centennial.
The three books are Everything About Corporate Governance, co-authored by professors Kang-Heum Yon of Finance and Ho-Young Lee and Sung-Kyu Sohn of Accounting; Rise of East Asia in 1960-2020, co-authored by Professor Emeritus Ku-Hyun Jung of International Business; Seung-Ho Park, who has served as a professor in Hong Kong and Shanghai; and Professor Sung-Min Kim of the University of Loyola in Chicago; Catch-up Strategy 2.0, co-authored by Professor Soon-Kyoo Choe of International Business and Professor Jung-Min Park of the University of Ulsan.
Professor Emeritus Jung opened the session with a discussion of the key tasks facing the leaders of Korean corporations. He cited solutions to the nation’s low-growth economy, the search for new growth engines, resolution of corporate succession issues, and how to deal with the growing global competition between China and the United States.
The economies of South Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan, Professor Jung explained, have had one thing in common: compressed economic growth that has yielded different governance structures reflecting the economic systems of each country. He also explained the role of Korea’s inheritance tax in complicating succession issues in the family management systems that control some of the country’s largest firms.
Jhin-Young Shin, director of the Yonsei Business Research Institute led a panel discussion of Korea’s corporate management by YSB co-authors and professors Kang-Heum Yon, Ho-Young Lee, Sung-Kyu Sohn, Ku-Hyun Jung, Soon-Kyoo Choe, and Professor Jung-Min Park of the University of Ulsan.
Professor Kang-Heum Yon emphasized the need for an environment in Korea to foster the creation of companies and predicted that problems associated with the inheritance tax issue will be resolved in favor of establishing professional manage. However, Professor Sung-kyu Son predicted that the turning point on the issue has not been reached yet. Professor Ho-Young Lee forecast that although the founders of startups will remain involved, the move toward professional managers is under way and will become more common.
In a discussion of the challenges Samsung and Hyundai are facing as leaders in the Korean economy, Professor Jung-Min Park argued they should seek solutions together by establishing a strategic partnership for technology leadership. Professor Soon-Kyoo Choe emphasized that technological development is very limited in the auto market and said the problems of “brand” should be solved first.
Responding to a question posed by Professor Sae-Yeul Park about the management pool of owners and professionals, Professor Ku-Hyun Jung said, “There are many professional managers, but in fact, both professional management and third generation of owner managers choose to maintain the status quo rather than take risks, so we have to look forward to the new startup founders for the industrial dynamics.”
On the topic of entrepreneurship, Kil-Soo Suh, Dean of Yonsei School of Business, commented that the “School of Business also needs entrepreneurship. We will encourage and support our students to develop their entrepreneurship and start their own businesses.”