Essays on Leadership Followership and Evolution Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Leadership Followership and Evolution" Is a great example of a Management Case Study. SK Telecom is one of the largest wireless telecommunication companies in South Korea. Established in 1984, the company has grown to great heights with a current market share of over 50%. SKMS is the company’ s management system that was established in 1979 and contains systematic management methodology. It reveals the philosophies and doctrines exercised within the company that was aimed at making the management more effective (SK Telecom, 2014). The previous management approach in SK Telecom, just like most Korean companies, the pay, rank, and responsibilities of an employee were determined by his title at the workplace and was greatly influenced by the number of years he had been employed in the company.

There was great respect for the title and lower-level employees would never question their seniors. Recent developments, however, have resulted to change in management styles in the company, and throughout South Korea. Executives have realized that the old management styles were an obstacle to the very backbone of survival: innovation and globalization (Sang-Hu, 2008).

The change in management style has seen more young employees rise to management roles and the lower level employees getting their voices to discuss and share their opinions. As will be seen in the discussion below, this change in management approach has met several challenges as all the team members come to terms with the new developments. Organizational Behaviour SK Telecom is attempting to distance itself from which South Korean cultural value? What indicators of this value are identified in this case study? What other artifacts of this cultural value would you notice while visiting a South Korean company that upheld this national culture? SK Telecom is changing its cultural values from the traditional strong hierarchical culture to one that supports values that are more egalitarian.

Respect for the hierarchy is dominant in South Korea citizens and this culture was adopted by organizations in their leadership structure and management style. In several other organizations, it is evident that great emphasis is laid upon seniority and hierarchy. In SK Telecom, this culture was deeply rooted in the way things were run. The case for Hur Jae-hoon is a clear indication of how prevalent the practice has been within the company.

There was high respect for title within SK Telecom. The 33-year-old strategist held the title of ‘ Hur Daeri’ and with this, he received plenty of respect from the other employees in lower positions. No one under Hur could question his decisions. While this was negatively affecting innovation and creativity among the lower employees, the national culture was supposed to be respected. Even Hur himself was expected to silently comply with any requests from managers above him.

The country’ s culture of differing to those in higher positions took center stage in the company. Since this was a national culture in South Korea, other companies also practiced it. In Samsung South Korea, for example, lower-level staff members could not be allowed even to start conversations with any other staff members above their boss. This was hierarchical leadership at its peak.


List of References

Hargittay, P., & Kleiner, B. (2005). Effectively Managing Korean-American Businesses, Management Research News, 28 (6): 55-65.

Lee, CY, 2012, Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice in South Korea, The Journal of International Management Studies, Volume 7, Number 2

Van Vugt, M, Hogan R, & Kaiser, RB, 2008, Leadership, followership, and evolution: Some lessons from the past, American Psychologist, 63,182–196.

Willer, R,2009, Groups reward individual sacrifice: The status solution to the collective action problem,American Sociological Review, 74, 23–43.

Keltner, D, Van Kleef GA, Chen S, & Kraus MW, 2008, A reciprocal influence model of social power: Emerging principles and lines of inquiry, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 151–192.

Self, R, Self DR & Bell-Haynes J, 2011, Intercultural Human Resource Management: South Korea And The United States, International Journal of Management & Information Systems – First Quarter,15(1): 41-48

Chaney, LH, & Martin, JS, 2011,Intercultural business communication (5th ed.). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J

Lee, S, Brett, J, & Park, JH, 2012, East Asian’s Social Heterogeneity: Differences in Norms among Chinese, Japanese and Korean Negotiators, Negotiation Journal, 28 (4), 429-452.

Erdem, R & Keklik B, 2013, Beyond Family-Friendly Organizations: Life-Friendly Organizations –Organizational Culture of Life-Friendly Organizations, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 3 No. 4

Siegel, JI, Licht AN, & Schwarts SH, 2011, Egalitarianism, Cultural Distance, and FDI: A New Approach, retrieved on 10th May 2014 from < >

Anderson, C & Brown CE, 2010, The functions and dysfuctions of hierarchy, Research in organization Behaviour

Yang, I, 2006, Jeong Exchange and Collective Leadership in Korean Organizations,Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23 (3), 283-298.

SK Telecom, 2014, SK Telecom is, retrieved on 12th May 2014 from

Sang-Hu, C, 2008, South Korea pushes to dissolve ‘the old way’ of business culture, retrieved on 12th May 2014 from <>

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us