Doing Business in Korea Essay

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Korea is a homogenous country, speaking one language, with a large sense of pride in their nation and ancestors. The Korean culture is very foreign from that of Western society. Korea’s business culture is difficult for Americans to decipher. There are websites such as Korea4expats, koreanzbc, and even studies at universities such as Miami have done studies on these significant differences in business culture. American businesses biggest opportunity with Korea businesses is shifting away from their direct approach and understanding Korea’s underlying tones and nonverbal behaviors (Korea4expats, 2012). International businesses interacting with Korea need to understand the difference in Korea’s culturally defined communication practices. American business practices are a low-context culture, where we put great emphasis on spoken words. Korea is a high-context culture, where they emphasize nonverbal messages. There are three cultural practices of Korea that greatly differ its communication with Americans; Kibun,Nunchi, and Inwha. These cultural aspects rely heavily on non-verbal cues. Generally speaking non-verbal language is understandable across different cultures, but in international businesses these subtle differences can hurt or boost business.
E.T. Hall’s context continuum correlates with a nations' reliance to nonverbal. “Low context cultures, such as those in North America, depend less on the environment of a situation to convey meaning than do high context cultures, such as Korea” (Guffey, 2010). In low context cultures, words are taken literally. It is very important in American business to communicate and fully inform colleagues verbally. However, in Korean high context culture, it is “assumed that the listener is already...

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..., Internation Business: The New Realities, 3rd ed. (pp. 81-107). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.
Guffey, M. E. (2010). Essentials of Business Communication. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Kim, Y. (1998, October 21). Doing Business in Korea. Retrieved September 14, 2013, from Angelfire:
Korea4expats. (2012, August 21). Kibun, Nunchi, Inwa, Harmony. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from Korea4expats:
Lee, C. Y. (2012, October). Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice. Retrieved September 15, 2013, from Jims Journal:
U.S. Korea Connect. (2012). U.S. Korea Connect. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from Trade Works:

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