Overcoming Economic Malaise: Strategic, Educational and Social Innovation for South Korea

Published on: 2017-02-03
Seoul Market by Daniel Foster



Overcoming Economic Malaise: Strategic, Educational and Social Innovation for South Korea


South Korea has relied on its export-oriented development model to become an economic powerhouse, but has now reached the limits of this model. Indeed, Korea’s phenomenal growth has incubated the seeds of its own destruction. Learning from the Korean developmental experience, China has adopted key elements of the Korean development model and has become a potent competitor in electronics and the heavy industries. Meanwhile, the organizational and institutional legacies of late industrialization has constrained Korean efforts to move into technology entrepreneurship and the service sector. These strategic challenges are compounded by a demographic bomb, as social development has led to collapsing birthrates in Korea, much like other developed countries in Europe and Asia. Within the next few years, the Korean workforce will start diminishing in size and aging rapidly, straining the country’s resources and curtailing its growth. In this seminar, Joon Nak Choi will discuss innovations in business strategy, educational policy and social structure that are directly relevant to these problems, alleviating or perhaps even reversing Korea’s economic malaise — and also how these solutions might also apply towards other East Asian societies facing similar problems.

About the Speaker

joon_nak_choiJoon Nak Choi is Assistant Professor of Management and an IEMS Faculty Associate at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Choi spent 2016 as Koret Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Korea Program at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC), where he conducted the research to be presented at the seminar.

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Photo by Daniel Foster / Flickr. CC. https://flic.kr/p/ddGZ7F

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