By Western standards, the role of women in society is distinctly inferior to that of men.

It is rare for women to succeed in business in Korea and most women work as secretaries or in poorly paid assembly line positions. It is generally expected that women will leave work on getting married or having children.

Although foreign women will be accepted and possibly expected as part of a visiting delegation it could be frustrating when senior female team members’ views are ignored and younger, less senior male colleagues are paid both deference and respect. Be prepared for this situation and plan your strategy accordingly.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in South Korea

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton



This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in South Korea. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in South Korea and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips