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Country Paper

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Country Paper

By

Irwin Anderson
BMGT 392
Professor Joseph Wade
September 12, 2011

This country analysis is for the beginning of a new business venture in South Korea. The business is an English private school/ tutoring center that focuses mainly on learning the language of English. The nature of this business is to bring new alternatives to learning English in South Korea. The organizational structure of this business will be mostly staffed with qualified English teachers. The overall mission statement of this business is to bring the best possible level of English language education to South Korea. This analysis will bring about the relevance of different country variables to this new business opportunity. The country variables consist of cultural environment, political and legal environment, economic environment, ethical environment, trade, investment, and foreign policy profile. Cultural Environment The cultural environment is one of the first things to consider when opening up a business in another country. Daniels mentions, “Most cultural variables are universal. Every society, for example, has its own daily routines and rules, codes or social relations, language, and the show of emotions—even concepts of luck” (Daniel, 2011). Therefore, some sort of study of the culture should be done. The Journal of Management & Marketing Research states, “Since the entry mode is crucial for the success of a new business in the overseas market, various studies should be made on the relationship between cultural distance and entry mode in the foreign market” (Cheong, 2011). Hence, we shall take a look at the cultural environment of South Korea. The primary language in Korea is Korean or Hangul. Jae Song from the University of Otago writes, “The correlation between Koreans and the Korean language is almost perfect: Korean nationals speak Korean, and most speakers of Korean are Korean nationals. South Korea is basically a monolingual nation, where the majority of Koreans are rarely in regular contact with speakers of languages other than Korean, and virtually all aspects of their lives are conducted in Korean” (Song). This is vastly different than the cultural environment of America’s diversity. However, English has become an important language in South Korea. Jo writes for The Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, “The use of English is second only to Korean in South Korea” (Jo, 2008). This proves to be a prominent positive for our business. Since Koreans are a monolingual country, our business could possibly flourish in South Korea. Jae Song writes this about the Korean culture, “English, a language hardly or never used in everyday communication, has become so important a criterion in educational assessment and performance evaluation that South Koreans have no other option but to direct their financial resources to learning the language, regardless of whether or not they will put it to use” (Song). There is a great desire of Korean culture to learn English. “In largely monolingual South Korea, English has become so important that it is promoted and regarded as a major criterion in education, employment and job-performance evaluation. Recently, South Koreans have also gone as far as to debate whether to adopt English as an official language of South Korea” (Song). This cultural analysis of South Korea proves that opening an English private school/ tutoring center could be successful. However, there are a lot more variables to consider in our analysis. Political and Legal Environment The political and legal environment in a country is a major factor that could limit the productivity of a business. Therefore, this analysis was done in regards to our educational business. Apparently, there was a time in South Korea when our business would have had a major road block. In the famous article Class and Cosmopolitan Striving: Mothers' Management of English Education in South Korea, “In 1980, in the name of ‘equality of educational opportunity,’ the Chun regime announced ‘the July 30 Educational Reform’ with stringent prohibitions against all kinds of private after-school education and with significant changes in the college entrance exam system” (Park, 2004). However, things have changed since 1980 for education in South Korea. The article also states, “In April 2000, the Constitutional Court finally decided that the state regulations which had technically prohibited private educational institutes since 1980 were in violation on the South Korean Constitution, which guarantees parents rights for their children’s education and the freedom to choose employment” (Park, 2004). This enables the rights for South Koreans to choose our business. Economic Environment An economic environment could be all the difference in opening a business overseas. Luckily, the cards seem to be in favor of our business. The Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy states, “English is seen as closely tied to the economic survival of South Korea within the context of globalization” (Jeon, 2009). South Korea’s realization of the importance of English is what created the spark for this business opportunity. Jae Song writes, “There is also a perception within the society that South Koreans are ‘bad speakers of English,’ and incompetence in English, in turn, is claimed to have cost South Korea important business opportunities, among other things, in the age of fierce global competition” (Song). This is where our business comes into play to provide South Korea with the means for that global competition. Koreans have found that English is important for economic growth. English is the global language of business that provides new levels of success in South Korean’s economy. Mihyon Jeon writes in the Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, “After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the importance of English was further enhanced, as English was recognized as a tool for enhancing South Korea’s competitiveness in the global market and for thus rebuilding the economy. In its continued effort to facilitate English education, the Korean Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announced, in May of 2005, a Five Year Plan for English Education Revitalization” (Jeon, 2009). In a sense of national economic competitiveness, English is an important piece of the game. Mihyon Jeon writes, “Nonetheless, English is seen as an important key to success and upward social mobility. The importance of English is especially prominent in the domains of education and the labour market. English test scores play a large part in college entrance and access to employment in white-collar jobs” (Jeon, 2009). Hence, Korea has made the knowledge of the English language a skill identifier for competitive advantage among its citizens in the job market. Ethical Environment There are two main factors of the ethical environment in South Korea that are relative to our business. First, there is a big problem in the unfair treatment of native English teachers and non-native English teachers. Robin and Donald Self write for the American Journal of Business Education, “In Korea, English is seen as the most powerful language, and native English speakers are positioned as superior while non-native English teachers are positioned as inferior” (Self, 2009). The ethical dilemma involves the qualification of these teachers. Mihyon Jeon writes, “There are English teachers without teaching certificates ore backgrounds in education to teach at Korean public schools as long as they held BA degrees and were citizens of one of the seven inner circle countries. This requirement reveals that the South Korean government privileges only inner circle varieties of English and holds a narrow definition of what constitutes English and native English speakers” (Jeon, 2009). In our business, we will only be hiring native English teachers with actual teaching backgrounds. This will allow us the best of both worlds.
Secondly, English teachers in South Korea could be treated wrongly. Mihyon Jeon writes, “Most native English teachers do not know the curriculum requirements their co-teachers follow nor have they seen their student’s textbooks” (Jeon, 2009). This actually hurts South Korea’s goal of English. Mihyon Jeon states, “Ironically, in real classrooms, the EPIK teachers assumed superiority as native speakers of English does not guarantee local acceptance; Korean teachers of English and Korean students do not perceive EPIK teachers as legitimate teachers” (Jeon, 2009). They are simply leaving the native English teachers clueless. “Korean students did not consider her English class a real class, because what she taught was not on their tests” (Jeon, 2009). The ethical dilemma provides a broken system that needs to be fixed. “The ‘entertainment value’ of native English teachers alone does not adequately justify the significant costs of running the EPIK programme. Rather, hiring native English speakers serves as a political tool for (re)gaining the trust of parents who sent their children abroad or to private English language institutes” (Jeon, 2009). This type of ethical environment ties directly with our business. For our business will open up new avenues for native English teachers.
Trade
The trade element of our country analysis is in obtaining native English speaking teachers from America. Mihyon Jeon writes, “The willingness of EPIK teachers, as guest workers or temporary migrant workers, to move to South Korea for at least a year and sometimes longer makes the EPIK programme possible. The very idea of temporarily working in a foreign country such as South Korea is facilitated by the rapid flow of people who constitute the shifting world” (Jeon, 2009). Hence, our business will be offering a chance of a lifetime for teachers to live in South Korea.
Investment
South Koreans heavily invest in English. Jae Song states, “Each year South Koreans spend an enormous amount of money (fifteen billion dollars in 2005) on private English language education – private in the sense that it is not provided by the state but paid for by individuals” (Song). Hence, our business is expected to attract many South Korean investors. Mihyon Jeon, “The South Korean government, parents, and students willingly and zealously invest resources to obtain the linguistic capital by learning English” (Jeon, 2009). From a business perspective, it makes all too much sense to provide world class English education to South Korea. The investment analysis of South Korea is that they are involved with America. South Korea has a long history of economic progress with America. “It was only a few years ago that South Korea, wracked by poverty, political chaos and popular discontent, was widely regarded as a sinkhole of American aid. Now this small, ruggedly anti-communist country enjoys relative political stability and is making impressive economic progress” (Chapin, 1969). In turn, South Korea continues to steady yearn for economic progression by invest investing in English. Even the cost of English in Korea has been increasing. However, the level of quality still remains the same. Kang states, “Private English language education costs increased nearly 12 percent last year, leading the overall growth of private tutoring expenditure and calling into question the effectiveness of the Lee Myung-bak administration’s education policy emphasizing competition and English education” (Kang, 2009). Our business will be providing only the best there is to receive in English education. Foreign Policy Profile
The foreign policy profile of South Korea has been highly favorable of English language. “The South Korean education has been controlled by a state-led centralized management system, and the South Korean government has considered education as a tool for the state to accomplish its own goals. Therefore, I pay attention to the Korean government’s role in the process of globalization and language education by creating and maintaining the EPIK programme” (Jeon, 2009). South Korea takes English very seriously when it comes to their policy. “In addition to this shift in the teaching method, the Korean government adopted a policy to start mandatory English language education in the third grade of elementary education school, 4 years earlier than the previous policy of starting English classes in the first grade of middle school” (Jeon, 2009). Also the core of English classes is best taught by native English speakers, which are considered foreigners to South Korea. Hence, the adaptation of English programs in schools. JEON WRITES, “In the long run, the government plans for each elementary and high school to have at least one native English-speaking teacher. The rationale for the plan is that interaction with native English-speaking teachers will provide students with more English input, a more authentic English environment, and greater cultural understanding” (Jeon, 2009). Overall, South Koreans realize the need for more English in its nation for economic competitive edge. Hence, they allow their foreign policy profiles to include as much of an English environment as possible in their education system. This is where our business provides a solution to South Korea’s wants and needs of the English language.

Bibliography
Chapin, E. (1969). SUCCESS STORY IN SOUTH KOREA. Foreign Affairs, 47(3), 560. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Cheong-A, L., Ho-Yeol, B., Jong Wook, H., Joo Young, L., & Young Hee Yun, K. (2011). An analysis of cultural impact on international business performance via foreign market entry mode: case of South Korean MNCs. Journal of Management & Marketing Research, 71-8. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Daniels, J. D., Radebaugh, L. H., & Sullivan, D.P. (2011). International Business. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
Jeon, M. (2009). Globalization and Native English Speakers in English Programme in Korea (EPIK). Language, Culture and Curriculum, 22(3), 231-243. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Jo, S. (2008). English Education and Teacher Education in South Korea. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 34(4), 371-381. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Kang, S. (2009). Private English education costs rises 12 percent. The Korea Times.
Park, S., & Abelmann, N. (2004). Class and Cosmopolitan Striving: Mothers' Management of English Education in South Korea. Anthropological Quarterly, 77(4), 645-672. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Self, R., & Self, D. R. (2009). Internationalizing The Business Curriculum: A South Korean Case Study. American Journal of Business Education, 2(9), 1-14. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Song, J. (n.d). English as an official language in South Korea Global English or social malady?. LANGUAGE PROBLEMS & LANGUAGE PLANNING, 35(1), 35-55. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.…...

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