The Evolution of Korean Industrial and Employment Relations
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The Evolution of Korean Industrial and Employment Relations

Edited by Young-Myon Lee and Bruce E. Kaufman

The Evolution of Korean Industrial and Employment Relations explores current employment and workplace relations practice in South Korea, tracing their origins to key historical events and giving cultural, politico-economic and global context to the inevitable cultural adaptation in one of Asia’s ‘miraculous’ democracies.
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Chapter 10: Human resource development

Sang-Min Lee and Morley Gunderson


This chapter examines Korea’s approach to human resource development (HRD) in the 50 years since universal primary education was established in 1960. Korea invests heavily in education, both publicly and privately, and this focus means it has experienced few skills shortages during peak periods of development. Korea also invests heavily in research and development as a proportion of GNP. Korea acquires technology primarily through informal rather than formal channels, allowing Korean firms to retain some independence from multinational firms but limiting access to FDI and insulating Korean firms from international practice standards. In anticipation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Korea will need to adopt lifelong learning practices and effect the government’s efforts to devolve employment and human resource development to the local level.

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