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Publication type: Master thesis
Title: Challenges of Swiss companies in South Korea : a multiple case study on non-tariff barriers in comparison with Japan
Authors: Grolimund, Toni
Advisors / Reviewers: Ursprung, Dominique
Zbinden, Roger
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-2085
Extent: 138
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 380: Communications and transportation
Abstract: Switzerland entertains a growing trade relationship with South Korea under a Free Trade Agreement that is in force for more than a decade. At the same time and even under such formidable circumstances, Swiss companies will inevitably face challenges in their export and expansion into the Korean market. This paper examines such challenges, namely non-tariff barriers in Korea, from the perspective of six Swiss companies on the basis of a multiple case study. Semi-structured interviews are conducted in an exploratory manner, with a focus on problems originating from difficulties in intercultural collaboration, both within the companies but also with their stakeholders. In order to carve out the Korean particularities against another east Asian country, the findings are compared with challenges that Swiss companies face in Japan, as reported by two seasoned experts in the field. Findings are produced from the condensed statements of the interviewees and arranged in topical order. The eventual results are drawn from a comparison of these findings against propositions from literature and subsequent investigation of the problem areas identified in the cases. This paper ascertains language and communication, access to customers, recruitment of skilled workforce and intercultural management, among others, to be the main topics of concern for the companies. Technical trade barriers, corruption and governmental interventionism are mostly rejected as trade hindrances for the Korean market, despite their frequent appearance in literature. Differences to Japan exist in that Koreans seem to be more open towards foreign goods and companies, and less complex in their communication. Intercultural management problems surface in a different form in the two countries. In Korea they are related to matters of accountability, while Japanese subsidiaries are hesitant to implement the company’s strategy as requested by headquarters. Based on the conclusion, recommendations for business and future research are offered.
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: Attribution - Non commercial - No derivatives 4.0 International
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in Collections:MSc International Business

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