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The COVID-19 Crisis Management in the Republic of Korea

International Case Studies in the Management of Disasters

ISBN: 978-1-83982-187-5, eISBN: 978-1-83982-186-8

Publication date: 30 November 2020


Until recently, the business environment was characterized by a world in which nations were more connected than ever before. Unfortunately, the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has virtually ended the borderless and globalized world we were accustomed to. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic at a news conference in Geneva on March 11, 2020. The multifaceted nature of this invisible virus is impacting the world at many levels, and this unprecedented pandemic may best be characterized as an economic and health war against humanity. More international cooperation is crucial for effectively dealing with the present pandemic (and future pandemics) because all nations are vulnerable, and it is highly unlikely that any pandemic would affect only one country. Therefore, this case study takes a sociological approach, examining various social institutions and cultural facets (i.e., government, press freedom, information technology [IT] infrastructure, healthcare systems, and institutional collectivism) to understand how South Korea is handling the crisis while drawing important implications for other countries. All aspects of how Korea is handling COVID-19 may not be applicable to other countries, such as those with fewer IT infrastructures and less institutional collectivism. However, its methods still offer profound insights into how countries espousing democratic values rooted in openness and transparency to both domestic and worldwide communities can help overcome the current challenge. As such, the authors believe that Korea's innovative approach and experience can inform other nations dealing with COVD-19, while also leading to greater international collaboration for better preparedness when such pandemics occur in the future. This case study also considers implications for both public policy and organization, and the authors pose critical questions and offer practical solutions for dealing with the current pandemic.



Kim, S., Parboteeah, K.P. and Cullen, J.B. (2020), "The COVID-19 Crisis Management in the Republic of Korea", George, B. and Mahar, Q. (Ed.) International Case Studies in the Management of Disasters (Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 231-249.



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