Korea: From the Land of Morning Calm to IT Hot Bed

For centuries, Korea was known only to its immediate neighbors, China, Japan, and Russia. Not quite strong enough to control its own destiny, while occupying a strategic location among ambitious and powerful neighbors, Korea has gone through numerous crises in its recent history. Japanese colonization, the devastating Korean War, poverty, and a backward social infrastructure left the country ill prepared to face the modern world. However, these multiple shocks to the nation awakened the Korean people. In less than fifty years since the end of the Korean War, South Korea has transformed itself from a poverty-stricken country into a leading information and communication technology (ICT) country, especially in the most critical areas which support the new e-global age: the high-speed Internet and mobile communication. South Korea's vitality as an ICT hotbed has resulted from a number of factors such as the changing global economic environment, government policies, and Korean cultural characteristics supporting ICT diffusion. The Korean government has made bold investment in technological and human infrastructures. These factors have enabled Korea to establish new competitive strategies for high-tech areas, especially ICT. Korean cultural characteristics that have contributed to a favorable environment for ICT development and diffusion include, among others, valuing efficiency and speed, self-efficacy, a subjective norm of belongingness, and the Korean language. The Korean experience, especially its economic transformation and ICT diffusion process, should be of interest to the governments of developing and developed countries as well as to scholars and executives involved in international business.

Publication Information
Article Title: Korea: From the Land of Morning Calm to IT Hot Bed
Journal: Academy of Management Executive (2003)
Vol. 17, No. 2 (2003), pp. 7-18
Author(s): Lee, Sang M
Researcher Information
Lee, Sang M
Lee, Sang M
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Systems
  • International - Europe
  • International - South and Central America
  • International - Asia
CoB 325 AA
P.O. Box 880491
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491, USA
Phone: (402) 472-3915