Talent management: Is the deeply rooted paternalism culture in South Korea to the Millennial workforce?

Yin Teng Chew, Erhan Atay

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The workplace has become more challenging when different workforce workers work as teams to achieve organizational goals. The millennials are noted to be a self-centred generation with different expectations and behaviours from the older generations. They will eventually lead the future, and hence solutions to productive work relationships across generations are crucial. This research wishes to understand this talented group from the social exchange theory and paternalism lenses. This qualitative study adopted interactive online semi-structured interviews with twenty-seven millennials working in diverse sectors in Korean organizations. Results show that traditional Korean culture elements are still very strongly in organizations, and millennials are not happy. Participants indicated that Korean culture-rooted practices limit their freedom, and it is hard for millennials to challenge Korean culture. Millennials dislike the paternalist approach since they want to separate professional and private spaces, and they are more comfortable by not sharing their private affairs with their seniors. Millennials' different values challenge the paternalistic culture in Korea. Millennials do not appreciate paternalistic culture or see it as fair exchange despite South Korea's success. This may reduce organizational productivity and effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBAM2021 Proceedings
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780995641341
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventBritish Academy of Management Conference (BAM2021) - Online
Duration: 31 Aug 20213 Sept 2021


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management Conference (BAM2021)
Internet address

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