The following was extracted from one of my lectures in the Korean Business Culture Fundamentals Specialization of the KBC Professional Certification Program. Visit Korea Business Central for more information on the program and to register and get certified.
"What I want to say here is this: Rank trumps age when it comes to business authority; however, it only usually trumps age when it comes to the level of speech Koreans use with each other. Pre-existing relationships, especially those developed in childhood, are remarkably persistent and persons who have been particularly close will tend to speak to each other at the same levels of speech throughout their business careers. If you’re not understanding their Korean, you may not pick up on this, but it’s a good thing to know since it illustrates the importance of personal relationships in business in Korea.
"I hope I haven’t made this too long for the first lecture, but I really wanted to get across these points, particularly about the way Korean business culture doesn’t always manifest itself in its pure form when foreigners are involved, and that it’s something to be aware of but not panic over.
"Alright, so now it’s your turn? Questions? Comments? I’m all ears and I want to hear from you!"