Business Etiquette and Culture in South Korea
South Korea has a history of being one of the greatest economic successes in the world. It is homogeneous racially and linguistically (Country Profile: South Korea, 2007). The Koreans respect their tradition and equally embraces the modern developments. Certain etiquettes that are followed in this country are as follows:
Traditional greetings of South Korea is bow. However, now it is followed by hand shake among men. To pay respect they support their right forearm with their left hand. The Korean women would not shake hands with western men and would simply nod, however, western women can offer to hand shake with Korean men (South Korea, n.d.).
Koreans consider it to be impolite to call them by their given name. It is appropriate to address them with Mr., Miss or Mrs. Along with their family name. However, it is not recommended to address superiors in this way. (South Korea, n.d.).
Touching, patting or back slapping is not accepted in Korean culture. Direct eye contact with a superior is impolite. There are rules like how to keep one’s leg while sitting and how to beckon someone.
Punctuality is very important for Koreans in the business meeting. Delays should be intimated prior to the meeting. At the first meeting, it is vital to exchange the business cards that help to establish professional comfort. Koreans look for long term relationship. Hence, they invest time and money to understand their counterpart. Western counterparts’ willingness to participate is a measure of their sincerity and commitment (Business Practices and Etiquette, n.d.). Once the business relation is established it is important to nurture it. Regular business visits should be done. Koreans are tough negotiator and they take more than one meeting to close a deal.
Business Practices and Etiquette. (n.d.). Korea4expats. Retrieved from http://www.korea4expats.com/article-business-practices-etiquette.html
Country Profile: South Korea. (2007). Federal research division. Library of congress. Retrieved from http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/ South Korea.pdf
South Korea. (n.d.). eDiplomat. Retrieved from http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_kr.htm