The Impact of Globalization on Industrial Relations : A Comparative Study of Korea and Japan

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Kim, Dongwon; Kim, Seongsu
Issue Date
College of Business Administration (경영대학)
Seoul Journal of Business Vol7(1): 65~91(2001)
Korean unionsperformance-based payKorea trade unions
The trend of globalization since the early 1990s has had profound impact on industrial relations systems in Korea and Japan. It affected these two countries in both positive and negative ways. Trade unions in Korea and Japan showed similar reactions to globalization in some aspects, but at the same time, unions in these two countries showed different reactions. Just like Korean unions, Japanese unions tried to counteract the forces of globalization by forming industrial unions. This strategy, however, was not as successful in Japan as in Korea because the associations of trade unions were more willing to accept demands from business in Japan. For example, Japanese unions were more willing to accept performance-based pay and use of contingent workforce. Whereas the Korean unions tried to challenge these changes, Japanese unions were more willing to accept these changes and increase productivity. Also Japanese unions put more efforts in getting approval from the society in charting their strategies against the waves of globalization. Korean trade unions, however, did not actively seek public support. Instead, Korean unions waged more strikes and used their power to draw better deals from negotiation with the government and the business.
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College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원)Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과)Seoul Journal of BusinessSeoul Journal of Business Volume 07, Number 1 (2001)
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