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

Friday, May 20, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

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 have 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, 2015-16 Koret Fellow at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Reserach Center, will discuss innovations in business strategy, educational policy and social structure that are directly relevant to these problems, and that would alleviate or perhaps even reverse Korea’s economic malaise.

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A Stanford graduate and sociologist by training, Choi is an assistant professor of management at the School of Business and Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research and teaching areas include economic development, social networks, organizational theory, and global and transnational sociology, within the Korean context. He coauthored Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea (Stanford University Press, 2015).

This public event is made possible through the generous support of the Koret Foundation.