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South Korean’s fever for public service jobs and exam ronins: from a NHRD management framework

Namhee Kim (Department of Education, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea)
Sunyoung Park (School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 5 November 2020



The purpose of this study is to describe South Korea’s unique fever for public service jobs (FPSJ) and to critique it from a National Human Resource Development (NHRD) management framework.


This paper reviewed previous studies, news and technical reports related to FPSJ and NHRD to connect FPSJ and NHRD.


This study analyzed FPSJ-related issues based on three areas (development, allocation and utilization) of human resources and four contexts (political, economic, social and educational backgrounds). FPSJ has led to multiple concerns about developing human resources (vocational education and career guidance), allocating human resources (the unbalanced supply-demand mismatch and flawed selection) and using human resources (delayed job entry and low public service ethos).


This study analyzes the challenges related to FPSJ in Korea from a NHRD perspective. Based on the analysis, this study recommends strategies for reducing the over-emphasis on FPSJ.



Kim, N. and Park, S. (2020), "South Korean’s fever for public service jobs and exam ronins: from a NHRD management framework", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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