Effective Leadership and Leadership Development in South Korea: Lessons Learned from Two Large Conglomerates

  • Seung Won Yoon
  • Jegoo Shin
  • Sungjun Kim
  • Dae Seok Chai
Part of the Palgrave Studies of Internationalization in Emerging Markets book series (PSIEM)


This chapter presents commonly held views on organizational leadership and distinctive organizational leader development practices in South Korea. The country has been actively adopting popular leadership theories originated from Western countries, yet two local views, paternalistic leadership and flexible leadership, prevail in the society and most organizations. Paternalistic leadership combines strong discipline and authority with fatherly benevolence, while flexible leadership emphasizes harmony through dynamic and dialectal interplays between conflicting forces. Two global corporate cases exemplify successful organizational changes by adjusting Western leadership principles to fit the paternalistic and communal culture of Korean organizations. These cases also highlight that leadership is a normative concept that is culturally shaped in local contexts, challenging a direct transfer between different national cultures.


Transformational Leadership Leader Development Leadership Theory Senior Leader Leadership Competency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seung Won Yoon
    • 1
  • Jegoo Shin
    • 2
  • Sungjun Kim
    • 3
  • Dae Seok Chai
    • 4
  1. 1.Texas A&M University-CommerceCommerceUSA
  2. 2.Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & TechnologiesSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Korea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Western Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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