Learning to Think Korean
Perhaps more than any other East Asian country, Korea adheres to the traditional collectivist and Confucian traits of harmony, hierarchy, status and proper behavior. In Learning to Think Korean: A Guide to LIving and Working in Korea, Robert Kohls demystifies Korean culture for people who encounter it in business and in everyday life. The book explores Korean modes of thinking and behaviors in juxtaposition to American society. Learning to Think Korean discusses the cultural patterns and practices of the workplace and goes beyond business interaction as the book explores Korea's culture of private life, providing notes on proper etiquette in non-business settings and Korean history and social customs. Understanding the complex tapestry of influences, tradition and deep cultural values inherent in Korean society is essential to effective and mutually rewarding intercultural communication.
Contents Foreword: My Love Affair with Korea Acknowledgments 1 Some Facts about Korea 2 Critical Incidents 3 Influences of Asian Religious and Ethical Systems 4 Korean Values_Then and Now 5 Barriers to Thinking Korean 6 Korea: People-Oriented and Group-Centered 7 Status and Behavior 8 Relationships: Ingroups and Outgroups 9 Paths to Success, Korean Style 10 Negotiating with Koreans 11 Managing a Korean Office 12 Personnel Issues 13 Challenges Facing Korea Afterword Appendix A: Korean Chronology Appendix B: Traditional Symbols Appendix C: Traditional Social Customs Appendix D: Aspects of Korean Culture Worth Exploring Appendix E: Aspects of American Culture Worth Explaining to Koreans Bibliography About the Author
L. Robert Kohls' relationship with Korea covers more than fifty years, from reconstruction to the present. Cited as "America's Leading Interculturalist," he is an award-winning trainer, educator and consultant. He has lived, worked and traveled in more than 90 countries. He is the author of the best-selling Survival Kit for Overseas Living as well as several other books.
"Bob Kohls' book, Learning to Think Korean, is ostensibly written for the American businessman who plans to go to Korea and engage in a business relationship with corporations there. My reading of the book leads me to suggest that it is a good 'read' for anyone who would try to understand the disjuncture between our expectations of our Korean neighbors and their behavior, whether in Korea or in the United States. This goes for the American teacher with Korean students in the classroom and for the members of other minority populations in Los Angeles and elsewhere who find it difficult to understand their Korean neighbors. The book should also be read by Koreans in the United States who don't quite understand why others, not of their culture, are upset with them or why other Americans look askance at their behavior. The book is a very useful contribution to cross cultural understanding between Korea and the United States." - George F. Drake, KWV, Coordinator Korean War Children's Memorial Bellingham "Robert Kohls_ book is impressive in its depth of understanding of the ways [in] which cultural differences affect behavior, the ways in which we really are not all alike underneath." - Horace H. Underwood, Executive Director Korean-American Educational Commission, Seoul