The Dynamics of the South Korean National Business System and the Changing Spirit of CSR

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Abstract

This study has two clear objectives: (1) to bring the dynamic view on national institutional frames (national business system), (2) to show the strong role of the informal dimension of the national institutions in understanding the local adoption and institutional change. With the South Korean case, I examined the way in which the public has perceived the business and society relation over the structural transformation of the national business system and how corporate social engagement practices have reflected such a shared understanding of the business and society relation over the changes of the national business system. In fact, the South Korean business system has drastically transformed over the 80 decades, even though scholars mostly recognize the South Korean business system as the state-led market economy based on a close collaboration between a few business clans (chaebols) and the nation-state from the economic development period (1970s-1980s). Based on interviews with the formal and current CSR managers and consultants and major news articles between 1920 and 2013, I analysed how South Koreans have perceived and expected the role of the wealthy, business actors, mainly chaebols in the history of the Korean business system towards the neo-liberal market transformation. This study argues that that comparative CSR scholars need to consider the “spirit of CSR” more actively in order to understand the varieties of CSR, and more theoretically that the dynamic view of national institutional environments and its informal dimension is important to understand institutional change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Dynamics of the South Korean National Business System and the Changing Spirit of CSR
PublisherAcademy of Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
EventAcademy of Management - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015

Conference

ConferenceAcademy of Management
Abbreviated titleAOM
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period7/08/1511/08/15

Bibliographical note

Free on publishers site

Keywords

  • CSR
  • cultural dimensions
  • national business system

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