The Evolution of Large Corporations in Korea

The Evolution of Large Corporations in Korea

A New Institutional Economics Perspective of the Chaebol

Sung-Hee Jwa

Controversy still looms large both in public and academic circles as to the role of large corporations in sustainable economic growth. In this book, the new-institutional economics perspective is adopted to clarify and answer some of the most critical questions relating to the behaviour of large corporations in Korea, or the chaebol, and the role and impact of institutions on their behaviour.

Preface

Sung-Hee Jwa

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, business and management, asia business, international business, economics and finance, industrial organisation

Extract

This book tries to convey the essence of large corporations in Korea or what is referred to as the chaebol in terms of its past, its current status and its future prospects. Relatively speaking, the reason for the demise of any entity is usually easier to explain than putting forward an acceptable explanation of how that particular entity came into being. For example, an innocent boy can easily be held accountable for the death of a bug that he purposely stepped on, but he can hardly be expected to explain how and why that insect came to cross his path. This book faces this difficult challenge to present to its readers a concise picture of the unique circumstances that prompted the growth and behavioral characteristics of large corporations in Korea. It is common to find that the chaebol have been looked upon as an ‘evil monster’. Ever since the 1997 economic crisis, the chaebol have increasingly been brought to the spotlight internationally as well, and there is now a flood of discerning commentaries. Discussions surrounding the chaebol besides being highly controversial are usually preceded by unfavorable prejudgements that quickly erase any hope of objective analyses, thereby resulting in nothing but confusion. Furthermore, although international concern is highly welcome in this day and age, the lack of proper understanding of chaebol issues is reflected by inconsistencies in policy recommendations, which should be promptly corrected. In fact, a strong motive for writing this book has been my frustration with widespread misunderstanding and...