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News on SERI’s conferences, symposiums, and seminars.

SERI hosts International Symposium to Commemorate the 100th Birthday of Ho-Am

Feb. 12, 2010

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SERI hosts International Symposium to Commemorate the 100th Birthday of Ho-Am

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On February 10, 2010, Samsung Economic Research Institute, the Federation of Korean Industries, and the Korean Academic Society of Business Administration jointly hosted an international symposium titled "Korea's Economic Development and the Role of Entrepreneurship" in commemoration of Samsung's founder, Lee Byung-Chull's 100 th birthday. The symposium created an opportunity for guests to learn and share insights into Ho-Am, his many achievements, ideals and philosophy and of course, his legacy.

The day's events were divided into 3 main sessions and guest included diplomats, CEOs of both domestic and foreign companies, professors and researchers. With SERI's senior vice president, Lee Keon-Hyok presiding, the symposium opened with an opening address by the chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, Cho Suck-Rai, which was followed by congratulatory remarks from the chairman of the Ho-Am Foundation, Lee Hyun-Jae and finally a keynote address by chairman of the Korean Academic Society of Business Administration, Nam Sang-Koo.

The first session was led by world renowned professor Tarun Khanna of Harvard University. Entitled "The Elephant in the Room: Groups and New Enterprise Formation in Korea, 1980-2009," the main theme of Professor Khanna's presentation was to address and position the role of entrepreneurship and the role of the Chaebol and large business groups in emerging markets, the loss of confidence and conservatism that has crept into Korean businesses and the structural underpinnings of the Korean economy. Professor Khanna stated that although research and public sentiment concerning large family owned businesses have been critical, big businesses play a vital role as "de-facto creators of new enterprises" and in protecting the country's economy by acting as a buffer to external shocks. Professor Khanna concluded his presentation by stressing that Chaebols should not become complacent in their current status but must strive to obtain fresh ideas and talented employees and use the sense of challenge and creativity that is distinctive to Korea to its fullest advantage.

The morning ended with a luncheon address by former SERI vice president, Choi Woo-Suk. In a speech entitled "Memories of Lee Byung-Chull," the former president described his first meeting with Ho-Am at JoongAng Ilbo, where the late founder used to frequent due to his avid interest in the economy. Mr. Suk described Ho-Am as no ordinary entrepreneur but a giant, who processes dignity, refinement and a strong philosophy.

The main theme of the second session was "Reconsidering the Business Management Philosophy of Lee Byung-Chull," and consisted of three parts. With a presentation entitled "The Status of Lee Byung-Chull in the History of Korean Business Management," Professor Chang Jin-Ho of Yonsei University described Lee Byung-Chulls economic contributions to Korea and business philosophy of prioritizing human resources and pursuing rationality. Professor Chang went on to say that in order to create a lasting business such as Samsung, entrepreneurs must follow in the footsteps of the late founder by emphasizing innovation and creativity.

Sorbonne University's Professor Dominique Barjot and Phd. Rang-Ri Park Barjot continued the second session with a presentation entitled "Reconsidering Lee Byung-Chull's Business Leadership and Management Philosophy from the Perspective of European Business History." Dr. Park Barjot described the late founder's unprecedented management model which is an infusion of Japan's management system, Germany's production methods and the US's business management. She continued by praising Samsung's strengths and characteristics and its influence on the Korean economy and other companies.

Professor Yanagimachi Isao of Keio University concluded the session with his presentation, "Lee Byung-Chull's Philosophy of Human Resource Management" in which he described Lee Byung-Chull's business management philosophy, the foundation for Samsung's standing as a global player in the international arena. He stressed the importance of Samsung's priority to human resources and cultivating talent and its innovative methods in achieving these goals.

Professor Song Jae-Yong of Seoul National University was the guest speaker for the third and final session. With his presentation entitled "21 st Century Korea and Entrepreneurship" Professor Song shed light on the development of Samsung and Lee Byung-Chull's business management. He also looked into the paradigm shift in today's Korean economy and corporate culture.

The symposium rounded off with a lively Q&A session where guests had the chance to ask the guest speakers on matters concerning Korea's economic standing and Lee Byung-Chull's influence on the world of business in Korea.

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