S-Space College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원) Institute of Industrial Relations (노사관계연구소) Seoul Journal of Industrial Relations (노사관계연구) Seoul Journal of Industrial Relations vol.24 (2013) (노사관계연구)
勞使關係새로운 軸의 時代摸索과 經營의 새로운 패러다임
Seeking for New Axial Age of Industrial Relations and New Paradigm of Management
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 노사관계연구소
- 노사관계연구, Vol.24, pp. 1-30
- The objective of this paper is to seek a new axial age with the transformation of Korean Industrial Relations, and to suggest a new paradigm of management for Korean business. This paper also tries to identify the traits of Korean industrial relations during the rapid industrialization process and to suggest future directions of strategic management in the turbulent environmental change. Korea has achieved remarkable economic growth over the past 50 years and has grown to be the 10th largest economy from the scratch. The country's current GNI exceeds 20,000 USD compared with 55 USD in 1959. However, the compact economic growth has also caused social polarization among the socially disadvantaged and alienated classes. In the Korean society, the lack of social infrastructures across education, healthcare, housing and transportation services as well as the lack of social values pushed up transaction costs, triggering industrial conflicts and other social conflicts. Therefore, during such rapid economic growth with significant social conflicts, Korean industrial relations had experienced quantum changes for three times in the late of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. In this rapid process of economic growth, Korea has experienced two stages of Axial Age of industrial relations. The first stage of Axial Age was the labor-capital relations of struggle phase in the late of 1980s. Specifically, Korean industrial relations in 1987 confronted with the key issue of industrial democracy by the way of severe illegal strike and class struggles of labor union. The second stage of Axial Age was the labor-management relations of conflicts phase in late of 1990s. Specifically, Korean industrial relations in 1998 confronted with the key issue of management participation by the way of drastic deregulation in the labor market. The 1997 foreign currency crisis in Asia and the subsequent IMF bailout were the most painful experience for the Korean economy. Due to drastic deregulation in the labor market, the number of irregular workers with low wages and the rate of unemployment has significantly increased. The Korean economy is now facing new challenges due to the profound changes in the industrial world. The polarization in the labor market, in turn, aggravates the workforce mismatch. In the poverty in the midst plenty of human resources, the labor supply and demand is not balanced at all. Along with the jobless growth, the gap is widening between regular and nonregular work and between the employment in large companies and in SMEs. This polarization in employment has further increased the income gap. The industrial relations in Korea stand on a turning point and a new path has to be sought amidst social, economic and technological upheaval. In order to sustain economic growth, there is a pressing need for seeking a new Axial Age of industrial relations. Korean industrial relations have to be changed from militant relations to cooperative relations. It is not an option but a must for us to overcome the conflicts between labor and capital through creating cooperative society and to make efforts to establish a sound community. This should be based on the new paradigm of management of business community and social joint-venture.