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Management Report

Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Summer Holiday Reading for Korea's CEOs

Summer Holiday Reading for Korea's CEOs

HAN Chang-Soo

July 25, 2005

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Enhancing intellectual capacity is often the best way for corporate chief executive officers (CEOs) to cope with rapid changes and uncertainties surrounding the business world. They need to acquire in-depth knowledge across many fields as technologies and industries change at dizzying speed.

And what better way to do this than by reading? CEOs must read constantly to expand knowledge beyond their own area to stay more creative and develop useful ideas. Leaders successful in politics, economy and society all have a big appetite for books.

This is why vacation provides an opportunity for CEOs to boost their mental and physical capacity. For them, holiday is anything but a simple separation from work. Rather, it is an opportunity for reinvigoration so that they can return to work physically and mentally refreshed and recharged.

When asked to pick their favorite pastime during vacation, many Korean CEOs choose reading, along with golfing and mountain climbing. A recent (June 29 ~ July 5) survey by Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) shows that an average Korean CEO finishes one or two books a month, slightly more than the last survey taken in 2004.

In the latest survey, 37.5% of CEOs said they read to catch up on current trends, 30.4% to find new management ideas, and 28.0% to gain new knowledge and insights. They particularly enjoyed reading economic and management books (71.1%); then chose history and philosophy books (13.7%), hobbies and current trends (6.0%), culture and arts (4.0%), and finally, science and engineering (3.5%). CEOs who liked reading economic and management books rose from 66.5% in 2004 to 71.1% in 2005.

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