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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Asia Pacific Business Review

For a Special Issue on
Korean Human Resource Management as Number One: Lessons for the Asia Pacific

Manuscript deadline
31 May 2023

Cover image - Asia Pacific Business Review

Special Issue Editor(s)

Professor Young-Myon Lee, Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea
[email protected]

Professor Ingyu Oh, Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Japan
[email protected]

Professor Chris Rowley, Kellogg College, Oxford University & Bayes Business School, City, University of London, UK

Professor Yeon Sung Jung, Dankook University, Yongin, Korea

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Korean Human Resource Management as Number One: Lessons for the Asia Pacific

As it has well been documented by many, the South Korean economy is a model case of development for former colonies, as its current size is 10th in the world with its 6th highest per capita GDP among the countries with 50 million people or more. One of the factors of this miraculous success is the human resource (HR) practices and HR management (HRM) widely exercised in the country (see inter alia, Kim and Bae, 2005; Miles 2008; Oh 2010; Bae et al. 2011; Park 2013; Lee 2014, 2021). Indeed, Forbes has picked up Samsung Electronics as the best employer in the world for the three consecutive years since 2020 (Forbes, 2022). Other Korean firms that have put their names on the top 200 board are: Naver, Meritz Financial Group, SK Group and Shinhan Financial Group.

Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Korea has made a phenomenal effort to bring its ailing economy back on track with new HRM features that reflect globalization, efficiency and innovation, adequate for the new millennium. Samsung has taken a blazing role in reforming the conventional Korean HRM practices, which ushered in and routinized the following innovative outcomes:

  1. Core Ideology: a new emphasis on individuals, individual equity, and market principles
  2. Human Resource Flow: recruitment on demand, from lifetime employment to lifetime career, development of professionalism
  3. Human Resource Flow: recruitment on demand, from lifetime employment to lifetime career, development of professionalism
  4. Evaluation and Reward: a new orientation toward ability and performance (e.g. annual pay), merit pay systems, evaluation for pay increases, 360° appraisals
  5. Employee Influence: involvement of knowledge workers, more information sharing (Bae and Rowley 2001)

However, these five areas of HRM reforms are not only unique to Korea, nor do they automatically make Samsung and other similar Korean firms to be globally outstanding in the area of HRM performances.

We, therefore, propose this Special Issue on the conundrum of Korean HRM: what are some of the hidden advantages of Korean-style HRM not only for Korean but also other firms in the Asia Pacific? We want to both qualify and quantify the above five areas of Korean HRM in order to explain its global standing with an additional focus on the future prognosis (Rowley and Bae 2002; Fröse 2020). Furthermore, what would the ripple effect of Korean HRM for neighbouring countries in the Asia Pacific (Rowley et al. 2004; Budhwar et al. 2016; Fröse et al. 2018)?

Please submit papers that address these broad questions of Korean HRM using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Although we prefer to receive contributions that deal with the topics specified below, other papers that focus on related questions are also welcome.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Literature reviews of Korean HRM that highlight both conventional and reformed practices
  • Comparative studies of Korean HRM with other comparable countries
  • Reforms of Korean HRM in all areas
  • Institutional approaches to Korean human capital, social capital, both specific and non-specific investments and other HRM institutions
  • Case studies on Korean HRM superstars, including Samsung Electronics, Naver, Meritz Financial Group, SK Group, Shinhan Financial Group, Hyundai Motor Company, LG Group, Lotte Group and others
  • Strategic changes in Korean HRM due to global warming and other sustainability issues (e.g. electric vehicles)
  • Strategic changes in Korean HRM due to demographic challenges (e.g. low fertility and rapid ageing)
  • Workforce diversity and plurality in Korean HRM (e.g. race, ethnicity and gender)
  • Globalization of Korean HRM in multinational subsidiaries
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution and its impact on Korean HRM

Submission Instructions

For questions in the first instance contact: Professor Ingyu Oh at [email protected] and Professor Young-Myon Lee at [email protected]

Timelines

28 February 2023: Deadline for submission abstracts (max. 500 words) + short bios

15 March 2023: Notification of abstract acceptance

31 May 2023: Deadline for the submission of full papers

30 June 2023: First review results and invitation to the workshop

15 July 2023: Submission of presentation PowerPoint files

16-18 August 2023: Presentation in the special session at KASBA Meeting in Busan, Korea

31 August 2023: Submission of revised drafts

30 September 2023: Second review results

31 October 2023: Final acceptance decision

November 2023: Publication of selected papers online

December 2023: Publication of the Special Issue

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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