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Dispute Resolution in the Korean and US Markets: A Comparison

Nancy J. White (Central Michigan University)
Jun Lee (Hedrick Brothers Construction Company)

American Journal of Business

ISSN: 1935-5181

Article publication date: 28 October 2004



Human interaction gives rise to conflict. This paper addresses general characteristics of Korean and United States culture relative to conflict resolution. In general, in the United States, conflict resolution is characterized by a win‐lose philosophy. Americans approach disputes with an attitude that one party is wrong, one is right and the purpose of dispute resolution is to decide who is right. Americans also believe that though the legal system is time‐consuming and expensive it can (for the most part) determine right and wrong. As a general statement most Americans respect the legal system and the law, though they find the process of litigation time consuming and expensive. In general, Koreans approach disputes with an attitude that all parties are partly wrong and partly right. Disputes are to be resolved in indirect and nonconfrontational ways so that harmony is restored and the relationship between the parties returns to one of harmonious interaction. Koreans have little respect for the law and the legal system and tend to depend upon non‐legal techniques to resolve disputes.



White, N.J. and Lee, J. (2004), "Dispute Resolution in the Korean and US Markets: A Comparison", American Journal of Business, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 23-30.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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