After writing yesterday’s post I came across this document from the Samsung Economic Research Institute talking abut issues in labour and personnel management. I was particularly struck by author Lee, Jong-il’s assertion that labor relations post-financial crisis are characterised by a mutual distrust between management and labor. At one point he says:
Rigid hierarchical systems that centralize decision-making, choke bottom-up innovation, and leave employees feeling undervalued and unappreciated dilute companies’ competitiveness and growth potential.
I couldn’t agree more! It’s also surprising – even encouraging – to see how many of Mr Lee’s recommendations come down to better communications. in the absence of an open dialogue, it will be very difficult for Korean companies to overcome the trust gap between management and unions and we will continue to see examples of the labor militancy for which Korea is increasinly infamous.