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1 – 10 of 19
Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Hyeon-Cheol Bong and Yonjoo Cho

The purpose of this paper was to explore how the two groups of action learning experts (Korean and non-Korean experts) define success of action learning to see whether there are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to explore how the two groups of action learning experts (Korean and non-Korean experts) define success of action learning to see whether there are any cultural differences. To this end, the authors conducted a total of 44 interviews with action learning experts around the world. Research questions guiding our inquiry included: How do action learning experts around the world define the success of action learning? Are there any cultural differences in action learning experts’ definitions of success? What do we learn from action learning experts’ definitions of success?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors approached willing participants first and then recruited more participants using a snowball sampling technique by requesting them to help us make contact with additional participants. Due to interview participants’ busy schedule at an international conference and work, individual interviews took approximately 30 min to complete using an interview protocol of 10 questions regarding the definitions of success in action learning.

Findings

To answer RQ1 (How do action learning experts around the world define the success of action learning?) and RQ2 (Are there any cultural differences in action learning experts’ definitions of success?), the authors analyzed interview data using a content analysis method. Analysis of interview participants’ narratives generated four themes including: definitions of success in action learning, the context where action learning is being practiced, challenges in action learning practice and the comparison of action learning with other approaches. The authors compared and contrasted cultural differences in the review of non-Korean and Korean experts’ narratives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors presented four significant discussion agendas including: cultural differences, relationships between interview questions, typology of definitions of success and comparing action learning with other approaches. Based on the discussion, the authors presented four propositions, three research questions, two methodological questions and two more questions for cultural differences for future investigation.

Practical implications

To answer RQ3 (What do we learn from action learning experts’ definitions of success?), the authors provided at least three practical implications for action learning practitioners.

Originality/value

Previous studies, using research methods such as Delphi and surveys, have not captured a complete picture of the meaning of success in action learning, and the interview method was used for a small number of experts only. In addition, as action learning originally emerged from the UK and Europe, and Korean companies adopted a US approach to action learning with little effort at indigenization, international comparison studies were called for, so the authors turned to action learning experts around the world to learn how they define success in action learning.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Yonjoo Cho, Jiwon Park, Soo Jeoung Han and Yedam Ho

The purpose of this paper is to explore how multinational corporations’ (MNCs’) women leaders in South Korea (Korea) have overcome career challenges in the process of becoming…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how multinational corporations’ (MNCs’) women leaders in South Korea (Korea) have overcome career challenges in the process of becoming CEOs. The two guiding questions for this study included: what career challenges have MNCs’ women leaders in Korea faced to become CEOs? How have they overcome their career challenges?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a basic qualitative research design, the goal of which is to understand how people make sense of their lives and experiences. Qualitative data were collected by semi-structured interviews with 15 women CEOs at MNCs in Korea to capture their lived experiences (challenges and strategies) in their careers. The authors used NVivo 11, a qualitative data analysis software, to analyze the interview data.

Findings

From data analysis, the authors identified five themes including: becoming a CEO, key success factors, MNC culture, career challenges and career development strategies. The authors found that in the process of becoming CEOs, 15 women leaders faced career challenges that are largely generated by traditional culture, work stress and work–life balance. The authors also found that the women leaders became CEOs through diverse on-the-job experiences (e.g. marketing and sales) and positions (e.g. managers, senior managers and regional directors) with organizational support (e.g. supervisor support).

Research limitations/implications

Given research on organizational support for leadership, human resource practices and working conditions, this study’s findings have qualitatively confirmed the importance of organizational support for women CEOs’ career success. For theory building in women in leadership, the authors suggest that researchers investigate the complex process of becoming women CEOs, including their early experiences in their career in tandem with family background, organizational climate and national culture.

Practical implications

The study findings on women CEOs’ career strategies can be used as a reference for women in the leadership pipeline who aspire to take leadership positions in organizations. A lack of role models or mentors for women leaders is one of the reasons why women give up on their career. Learning career strategies (e.g. global development programs, mentoring and networks) that women CEOs have employed to overcome their career challenges can help women in the leadership pipeline from their early career on.

Originality/value

The authors found that both internal and external factors combined were instrumental in the women CEOs’ career success. What stood out from this study was that the women’s desirable personality attributes might not have materialized without the MNC culture that has been supportive for these women. The women CEOs shared their company’s values and philosophy that is based on gender equality, received supervisor support that is crucial for their career success, experienced diverse jobs and positions along the way and were recognized for their work ethic. Given research on women leaders conducted largely in western contexts, this qualitative study on the lived experiences of women CEOs in MNCs contributes to emerging non-western research by capturing the importance of culture that is uniquely Korean.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Yonjoo Cho, Jiwon Park, Soo Jeoung “Crystal” Han, Boreum Ju, Jieun You, Ahreum Ju, Chan Kyun Park and Hye Young Park

The purpose of this study was to compare South Korean female executives’ definitions of career success with those of male executives, identify their career development strategies…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to compare South Korean female executives’ definitions of career success with those of male executives, identify their career development strategies for success and provide implications for research and practice. Two research questions guiding our inquiry included: How do female executives’ definitions of career success differ from those of male executives? What career development strategies do male and female executives use for career success?

Design/methodology/approach

A basic qualitative research design was used and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 male executives and 15 female executives in diverse corporations by using an interview protocol of 13 questions regarding participants’ background, definitions of career success and final thoughts. To analyze the interview data, we used both NVivo 11 and a manual coding method.

Findings

Gender differences were detected in the participants’ definitions of career success and success factors. As previous studies indicated, male and female executives had different perspectives on career success: men tended to define career success more objectively than women. Many male executives, through experiencing transforming changes in their careers, began to appreciate work–life balance and personal happiness from success. Gender differences were also detected in their career development challenges, meanings of mentors and networking activities. While work stress surfaced as a challenge that men faced, experiencing the token status in the gendered workplace was a major challenge for female participants.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, three research agendas are presented, needing further investigation on career success, women’s token status and comparative analyses.

Practical implications

Three implications for practice have been provided, including organizational support, government’s role and HRD’s role.

Originality/value

Gender differences in this study were not as distinctive as previous literature has indicated. Some male executives valued more subjective career success than others, while a few female executives spoke of more objective definitions than others. These subtle differences could be captured through in-depth interviews. By hearing the participants’ stories, both objective and subjective definitions of success, for both genders, could be observed, which might not have been possible in quantitative research. In addition, the study findings reflect the nature of a uniquely Korean context. The participants worked in a Confucian and military culture, which operates in hierarchical structures and the command and control system, coupled with a heightened camaraderie spirit in the workplace.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 October 2022

Yonjoo Cho, Jieun You, Yuyeon Choi, Jiyoung Ha, Yoon Hee Kim, Jinsook Kim, Sang Hee Kang, Seunghee Lee, Romee Lee and Terri Kim

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore how highly educated women respond to career chance events in a Korean context where traditional cultural values and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore how highly educated women respond to career chance events in a Korean context where traditional cultural values and male-dominated organizational culture coexist.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted 50 semi-structured interviews with highly educated women operationalized as women with doctoral degrees in and out of Korea. The authors used a collaborative research process with a team of ten Korean-born researchers who have built consensus on research themes through discussions on the collection and analysis of a large data set, thus reducing the researcher bias issue inherent in qualitative research.

Findings

In an analysis of the interview data collected, the authors report on three themes: before obtaining a doctoral degree, during and after their doctoral study and responses (coping strategies) to chance events in their careers. Highly educated women’s pursuing a doctoral degree was a way to maintain work–life balance in Korea where women are expected to take a primary caregiver role. After obtaining a doctoral degree, participants struggled with limited job opportunities in the male-dominated higher education. Women’s unplanned and unexpected chance events are intertwined with the male-dominated culture in Korea, and career interruptions as such a chance event, whether voluntary or involuntary, happened largely due to family reasons. In this context, highly educated women responded to chance events largely at individual and family levels and articulated the need for support at organizational and government levels.

Research limitations/implications

The study findings confirm the literature that women’s careers are limited by traditional family roles in non-Western countries where strong patriarchal culture is prevalent. Particularly, women’s career interruptions surfaced as a critical chance event that either disrupts or delays their careers largely because of family issues. Future research is called for to identify both individual and contextual factors that influence women’s decisions on voluntary and involuntary career interruptions as their responses to chance events.

Practical implications

Based on highly educated women’s coping strategies largely at individual and family levels, we suggest national human resource development policies put in place not to lose out on the opportunity to develop highly educated women with doctoral degrees as a quality workforce for a nation’s sustainable economic growth. Additionally, organizations need to be aligned with the government policies and programs for the provision of developmental programs for women in the workplace, beginning with highly educated women’s career planning, while creating organizational culture to promote gender equality as a long-term goal.

Originality/value

The participants’ voluntary career breaks helped them care for their children, be involved in their children’s education, reflect on work–life balance after having long hours of work for many years and move forward with personal satisfaction. Voluntary career breaks can be understood as highly educated women’s unique way of responding to chance events.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2022

Yonjoo Cho, Robin Grenier and Peter Williams

The purpose of this paper is to offer a collection of articles that explore some of the many innovative approaches to qualitative inquiry and to challenge HRD scholars and…

1307

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a collection of articles that explore some of the many innovative approaches to qualitative inquiry and to challenge HRD scholars and practitioners to consider using innovative approaches in their work. In doing so, qualitative research in HRD can better capture and honour voices, experiences and meaning making of individuals, teams, organizations and communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Lê and Schmid’s (2022) definition of innovation in qualitative research, the authors selected four innovative approaches to qualitative research that have the potential to enhance HRD research and practice: use of multiple-case study designs in case study research in HRD, a new take on critical incident technique, a narrative approach of testimonio and a visual approach of participant photography.

Findings

Innovative approaches to qualitative research in this special issue include a review of case study research in HRD by Tkachenko et al., a new take on the familiar critical incident technique of Watkins et al., a narrative approach to testimonio by Salcedo et al. and a visual approach to participant photography by Hurtienne et al. The last article, by Grenier et al., addresses the implications of these articles to the field of HRD and points to additional directions for innovative qualitative approaches that can help to understand and create more inclusive, democratic and just organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The articles in this special issue are intended to spark a dialogue about the meaning of innovation in qualitative research in HRD. It also can serve as an impetus for considering how innovative approaches to qualitative research can better tackle questions that come from the new normal of the workplace, society and diverse contexts.

Practical implications

This special issue will give HRD scholars and practitioners a realistic, practical view on how innovation in qualitative research can help in exploring specific problems in the workplace. The articles will offer a glimpse into how specific social complex issues can be explored and addressed through innovative approaches, new and tried/modified, to qualitative inquiry.

Originality/value

Four articles introduce new and tried/modified qualitative methods, and their value is in prompting HRD scholars and practitioners to consider some of the innovative approaches in exploring, understanding and transforming the workplace. The final article is a review of more innovative qualitative approaches for HRD scholars and practitioners to understand complex organizational phenomena and promote positive and inclusive change accordingly.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 46 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2022

Robin S. Grenier, Peter Williams and Yonjoo Cho

The purpose of this paper is to conclude this special issue on innovation in qualitative research by addressing the preceding papers in relation to the work of Human Resource…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conclude this special issue on innovation in qualitative research by addressing the preceding papers in relation to the work of Human Resource Development (HRD) scholars and scholar-practitioners, consider the implications to the field of HRD and point to additional directions for innovative qualitative approaches. The authors use the term “innovative” to mean either an approach (or technique) that is newly conceived or one that is new to HRD (or little used).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed the papers in the special issue, identified other innovative qualitative approaches from the HRD literature and described briefly additional innovative approaches from other fields to suggest future directions for HRD professionals.

Findings

In this review, the authors noted the relatively few approaches to qualitative research that have been used regularly in HRD literature and suggested further innovative approaches that could deepen the understanding of organizations, including narrative, visual and indigenous methods, among others.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides for HRD scholars an overview of a few qualitative research methodologies that are new to HRD and identifies additional approaches and epistemological challenges that could be valuable for future inquiry into complex organizations by HRD scholars and practitioners.

Practical implications

The authors suggest various feasible approaches and tools for HRD professionals to inquire into their practice in organizations to identify needs, evaluate outcomes and inquire into socially complex issues.

Originality/value

This study’s intent is to encourage the use of various innovative qualitative inquiry approaches when appropriate to understand and transform organizations. In particular, this study encourages the approaches that center the voices and experiences of those being studied and emphasizes the ways of listening to voices from the margins that may have been ignored previously.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 46 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Yonjoo Cho, Sehoon Kim, Jieun You, Hanna Moon and Hyoyong Sung

Global gender diversity and equality indexes have been developed to promote gender diversity and equality at the country level, but it is difficult to see how those indexes are…

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Abstract

Purpose

Global gender diversity and equality indexes have been developed to promote gender diversity and equality at the country level, but it is difficult to see how those indexes are applied to organizations on a daily basis. The purpose of this study is to examine the application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures for gender diversity and equality at the organizational level in a Korean context.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the institutional theory, the authors reviewed ESG measures for gender diversity and equality of women funds in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and Japan) and examined The Women Fund in Korea through document analysis and interviews.

Findings

ESG measures in four countries’ women funds mainly assessed the percentage of women in the workforce, on boards and in leadership positions. In The Women Fund, gender diversity indicators consider the ratio of female to male employees, while gender equality indicators take into account gaps of male and female salaries and positions. This study’s impact analysis indicates that the companies invested in by The Women Fund had higher return on assets and return on equity than those without the fund.

Research limitations/implications

Although women funds explored in this study exemplify the use of ESG measures to apply global gender diversity and equality indexes at the organizational level, research is needed to examine ESG measures and women funds and their associations. Possible topics include what needs to be measured in ESG, who should be involved, how ESG measures should be applied, what outcomes of using ESG measures would ensue in organizations and how ESG measures relate to regional and global gender diversity.

Practical implications

In promoting ESG measures that apply global gender diversity and equality at the organizational level, human resource development practitioners, as change agents, can help organizations develop socially responsible and ethical behaviors and transform organizational culture, practice and systems, which may influence organizations’ long-term survival and development as well as financial performance.

Social implications

As the government’s support and policies guide and drive firms to develop and implement initiatives and programs, the launch and implementation of gender diversity and equality at the organizational level in the form of women funds require a certain level of collaboration between the government and the private sector.

Originality/value

This study on the application of ESG measures for global gender diversity and equality at the organizational level in the form of women funds is timely to engage organizations in dialogue regarding what needs to be done to promote women’s participation and leadership roles in organizations in Korea and other countries.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 45 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Yonjoo Cho, Jiwon Park, Soo Jeoung Han, Moonju Sung and ChanKyun Park

The purpose of this study was to investigate South Korean women entrepreneurs’ motivations to start a business, the challenges they faced in business development and key factors…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate South Korean women entrepreneurs’ motivations to start a business, the challenges they faced in business development and key factors that contributed to their career success.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 23 women entrepreneurs to gather qualitative details on their experiences and performed a survey with 125 women Chief Executive Officers who are affiliated with the Korean Venture Business Women’s Association.

Findings

The authors found necessity-driven push (e.g. economic necessity for family) and opportunity-based pull (e.g. a strong sense of self) motivational factors, challenges (e.g. gender stereotypes) and opportunities (e.g. creating a family-like organizational culture) and key success factors (e.g. personality and loyal employees) for their career success.

Research limitations/implications

There is a strong need to emphasize the import of culture at the national level that would impact women entrepreneurs’ careers and business success. A majority of the studies on HRD in small- and medium-sized enterprises shed light on individual owners’ perspectives only. Researchers need to take multiple-level (i.e. national, organizational and individual) factors into consideration in research on women’s entrepreneurship. Quantitative analysis in this study did not have any statistical significance and there were a few inconsistent findings (e.g. disadvantage as woman Chief Executive Officers) between quantitative and qualitative analysis. Future research is called for to investigate where and why different results occurred by using a mixed-methods research design and inferential statistical analysis for significance.

Practical implications

The increased support at the national level for entrepreneurship education before and after school that has not received sufficient attention in Korea will allow aspiring women to embark on entrepreneurial career paths from early on. At the organizational level, women entrepreneurs’ efforts to create a family-like organizational culture can be used as references for aspiring women who want to start and develop a business. At the individual level, HRD practitioners can develop leadership programs to share internal and external success factors so that aspiring women entrepreneurs can develop required individual (e.g. personality attributes) and social competencies (e.g. networking) in business development.

Originality/value

The two unique study findings that reflect the importance of cultural context include: our study showed how women entrepreneurs in Korea transformed the challenges they faced in business development into opportunities that can be used for entrepreneurship education for aspiring women entrepreneurs; and women entrepreneurs in Korea were humble enough to ascribe their career and business success to their loyal employees who have stayed in their companies with commitment, which has not been captured in research on women’s entrepreneurship in western contexts.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 45 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2013

Sunyoung Park, Yonjoo Cho, Seung Won Yoon and Heeyoung Han

The purpose of this study is to examine the distinctive features of three team learning approaches (action learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning), compare…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the distinctive features of three team learning approaches (action learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning), compare and contrast them, and discuss implications for practice and research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used Torraco ' s integrative literature review method and activity theory as a framework for analyzing commonalities and differences of the three learning approaches.

Findings

Action learning emphasizes the balance between action and learning, problem-based learning has evolved to develop knowledge acquisition, application, and reasoning skills, and project-based learning connects learning with work. All three learning approaches are learner-centered, tackle real problems, emphasize collaboration, have a learning coach, and work through learning processes.

Research limitations/implications

Comparison of the three approaches has been done through a review of the literature only. More qualitative analyses of actual cases need to be done to confirm or improve the findings. Qualitative knowledge from this study should be linked to quantitative research.

Practical implications

Comparison of each team learning approach provides team managers, instructional designers, and instructors with guidance of pedagogy selection regarding what particular team learning approach fits best for their organizational learning needs. Six components of activity theory can be useful to evaluate team learning interventions.

Originality/value

The findings can be used for clarifying the relationships among the three learning approaches, and can guide HRD practice and research in line with improved team learning design, process, and measurement. The current study is possibly the first attempt to analyze the three team learning approaches based on activity theory.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2013

Yonjoo Cho and Catherine Brown

The purpose of this case study was to investigate how project-based learning (PBL) is being practiced in Columbus Signature Academy (CSA), a high school located in Columbus…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study was to investigate how project-based learning (PBL) is being practiced in Columbus Signature Academy (CSA), a high school located in Columbus, Indiana, USA.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the case study method to provide qualitative details about CSA ' s use of PBL that is being practiced in a natural education setting.

Findings

The authors identified six emergent themes (community partners, dedicated facilitators, student group work, authentic projects, school culture, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-focus) as the essential elements of the high school ' s PBL use. The authors also evaluated CSA ' s use of PBL using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis and generated eight challenges that CSA should tackle to make it more sustainable.

Research limitations/implications

This study is contextualized in a high school located in Columbus, Indiana, so the authors cannot generalize the results of this study to other contexts.

Practical implications

This study showed that PBL holds outstanding potential to be an innovative approach to teaching and learning, and teacher professional development.

Originality/value

Major strengths of CSA ' s use of PBL come from the integration of the workforce needs of local businesses and the broader educational needs of students. Active involvement of community partners to make a project authentic is an essential element of CSA ' s PBL that distinguishes it from problem-based learning.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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