After months of waiting, South Korea, the land of kimchi, cars, and karaoke is finally upon us. We are students from three different Johnson & Wales University campuses. We all are seniors, so we have been around the bush a few times. We have traveled and gotten to know different cultures, but as far as South Korea is concerned, there are many things we, and many Americans, simply don’t know about this country, or about it as a nation.
One of the first companies that comes to mind when one thinks about South Korea is Hyundai. The company was started in 1947 as a construction company and has now morphed into the largest chaebol (Korean multinational conglomerate) in South Korea. Hyundai, however, doesn’t only produce cars; they have expanded into other product lines, such as manufacturing products, mechanics, security, logistics, and research. Hyundai’s are enjoyed by young and old alike; they are known for being very reliable, and thus, is a very trusted brand.
The main focus of the brand is three pronged, the first being responsibilities. Hyundai believes that it has a responsibility to its customers, the environment, their partners, and to all people associated with Hyundai Motors. The second prong is realization of possibilities. This means that they will not turn away from the risk of failure. New challenges are taken with confidence, and this makes possibilities into realities. The final prong is respect for humanities; they are committed to being a positive corporate citizen with an emphasis on making everyone’s lives better.
As part of our studies in South Korea, we hope to divulge ourselves into the Korean culture and to see the affects the culture has on business and specifically Hyundai. We will also compare and contrast the American and Korean cultures and human resource management styles. Of course it won’t all be work; Korea here we come!
Ian, Sonya & Thaddeus