The study of management creeds must be one of the most advanced field of business history in Japan, and perhaps compared with that in other highly industrialized countries. Since the era of the feudal big merchant families, many large companies have drawn up management creeds and philosophies and regard them as important. Today, at a time when businessmen and scholars show great interest in them, we should promote the comparative study of management creeds. The establishment of an analytical framework or conceptual scheme which is essential for deeper insight. This paper seeks to form a conceptual framework for the comparative study of management creeds in the East and the West. The basic value system of the East and the West are characterized by collectivism (groupism) and individualism respectively. However, the concept of collectivism (groupism) and that of individualism are vague as scientific terms. For this reason, these two terms are made clear by using crossing two axes. The vertical axis shows the purpose or goal of social action, and the horizontal axis shows the means of social action to attain the purpose or goal. The former axis has two poles representing collectivity-centeredness and self-centeredness, and the latter axis has two poles representing self-help and mutual-help. According to the four quadrants formed by the two axes, management creeds are separated into four types. Management creeds in the early stage of industrialization in Japan are illustrated using this framework.
This paper is an attempt to clarify the business ideology in Korea through an historical approach. The establishment of modern business enterprises in Korea began in 1890. However, it was in the year 1876 during the late years of the Yi dynasty, that Korea adopted its open-door policy. The stages of business development are divided into three periods : The first period was the last decade of the 19th century. The second was the 1920s while under colonial rule, and the third period was the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. During the first period, almost all modern native enterprises went bankrupt. However, in the second period they began to develop, and the number of native enterprises increased greatly following the “Sam-il Independence Movement” on March 1, 1919. In the third period, enterprise groups, so-called zaibatsu, were formed. In each period, the direction of business management was decided by a business motive and business ideology of enterprisers based on a strong nationalism rooted in traditional Confucian thought. In this paper, the business motive and business ideology in Korea will be clarified on the basis of case studies of three businessmen : Rhee, Byung-chul, the founder of Samsung group; Kim, Sung-kon, the founder of Ssangyong group; and Rhyu, Il-han, the founder of Yuhan Corporation. In the first period, the native business enterprises were established to protest against foreign control of Korean industries and to respond to the introduction of modern civilization. The business motive and business behavior of the enterprisers at that time worked for “the protection of the country.” In the second period of the business boom after the Sam-il Independence Movement, the business motive was “the recovery of national rights.” In the third period, the business motive was “escape from poverty through economic growth, ” in other words, industrial contribution to the nation. The strong nationalism in the business ideology of enterprisers before and after the liberation in 1945 was in evidence in the attitude of enterprisers toward national crises. This nationalism traces itself back to the royalty, to parents, and to rulers and is based on Confucian tradition. For instance, Ryee, Byung-chul and Kim, Sung-kon were influenced by Confucian philosophy throughout their lives. Rhyu, Il-han was also influenced by Confucian thought from his early childhood. Their business ideology was based on strong patriotism, priority on national interests, and belief in business's contribution to the nation. The ethics of honesty, industry, prudence and frugality in business management in Korea is based on the Confucian thought of “self-control before governing the people, patience, and self-sacrifice.” The higher economic growth in Korea since 1960 likewise is based on self-control, endurance, industry and self-sacrifice. These are similar to the thought of self-denial (asceticism) in Protestant ethics and that of Benjamin Franklin, as pointed out by Max Weber.