S-Space Graduate School of Public Administration (행정대학원) Dept. of Public Administration (행정학과) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) vol.32 no.1/3 (2017)
The Origin and Evolution of the Crisis in the Offshore-Plant Industry in South Korea: Goal Ambiguity and Governmental Politics
- Park, Jungyeon; Koo, Min Gyo
- Issue Date
- Korean Journal of Policy Studies, Vol.32 No.1 pp. 71-97
- offshore-plant industry; shipbuilding industry; policy goal ambiguity; governmental politics; ambiguity-conflict model
- The once-promising offshore-plant industry in South Korea is on the verge of collapse. There are both internal and external reasons for the sudden rise and fall of this now troubled industry. This study focuses on what went wrong within the South Korean government. It examines how the offshore-plant industrial policy has been implemented since its inception in 2012. Using a modified version of Matland’s ambiguity-conflict matrix, this study explains the way in which the combination of policy goal ambiguity and organizational conflict between and within government agencies led to policy drift and failure. We find that offshore-plant industrial policy has undergone three different but related stages from symbolic to experimental to political implementation over the past five years. Varying degrees of goal ambiguity and organizational conflicts have resulted in these shifts, which in turn have resulted in the government missing opportunities to correct earlier policy errors in the next stages. This study explains the unique problems inherent in the offshore-plant industrial policy. At the same time, it reveals common problems prevalent in South Korea’s government-led industrial policy: a lack of planning, deliberation, coordination, and collaboration within the government, let alone outside of it.