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Title: Yin and Yang and the representation of the financial crisis in Korea
Author: Kim, Amee
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 7715
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2015
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In the current globalised economic world, South Korea has maintained a more peripheral role. However, the country has produced some multinational corporations, and is considered a large player in the financial market. The miraculous growth of the Korean economy since the Korean War has been induced by the implementation of Western business philosophies. Strong conflicts with traditional values have however concluded in a multitude of (local) financial crises, most notably the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. It has become clear to Korean companies that an optimal business environment can only be established by maintaining Korean identity in a globalised world. The current thesis investigates the maintenance of Korean self-identity, focusing in particular on the period of the current financial crisis. It provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the front covers of Korean economic magazines over this period in order to provide an indication of how traditional values have become intertwined with Western perspectives. As Yin-Yang is one of the most important traditional perspectives on life on the Korean peninsula, the thesis provides a semiotic analysis of each front cover’s background colour, text colour and vowel structure based on Yin-Yang principles and interprets these results in the light of events throughout the global crisis. Further examples of incorporation of traditional values will be discussed based on the history of South Korea, with specific focus on the economic history since the end of the Japanese colonisation. Results will show that, although Western-based business ideas were instrumental in restarting the Korean economy, it could only flourish by maintaining Korean self-identity, which remains part of every-day life. The thesis provides further insight for Western-based managers and businesses hoping to develop up long-lasting relationships with Eastern (especially Korean) institutions by taking into account traditional values; it also provides alternatives from Eastern philosophy which could be included in the Western ideas of social management within a community or a company. More generally, the thesis provides an understanding that people still value their self-identity in a globalised world, which could be included in product design philosophies to adapt products towards local traditions and values.
Supervisor: Lightfoot, Geoffrey ; Harvie, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available