Corporatism in Korea: a Yuhan case study

  • Received April 24, 2017;
    Accepted August 30, 2017;
    Published November 8, 2017
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  • Article Info
    Volume 15 2017, Issue #3, pp. 295-305

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Yuhan is a small-and-medium-size pharmaceutical manufacturing company in South Korea (Korea). It is well known in the industry as a paragon of credibility and sustainability. Concerning the small-but-powerful firm’s remarkable triumph, over the past two decades, a number of academics and researchers have examined the model of management within the context of business management. Yet the firm’s corporatist management in terms of validity should be considered beyond the area of business administration. Unlike previous academic works, this paper assesses the Yuhan experiments within the context of corporate corporatism.
The chief argument of this new approach is that corporatism and solidarity grounded Yuhan campaign (stark contrast concepts of neoliberal management) may offer meaningful lessons for the neoliberalism embedded Korean commercial society. While infrastructural conditions of both the public and private sectors are feeble to upheld corporatism, Yuhan style corporate corporatism, as a harbinger of social democratic corporatism, could be an alternative model to supplement such weakness. In rivalry with neoliberal campaigns that persistently creates social polarization and disunity; the solidarism-based Yuhan model would work a solution to overcome threadbare safety net for working and lower middle class in Korean society.

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