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chaebol structure

Derek F. Channon


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The Korean chaebol is that country's near equivalent of the Japanese keiretsu structure . Unlike the keiretsu , however, it is usually still managed at the top level by members of the founding family, and strategy is still set centrally, as in the prewar Japanese zaibatsu structure . Furthermore, these concerns do not contain banking institutions within their structures; and although trading companies exist, they act mainly as exporting agencies rather than as in the soga shosha . The main reason for these differences is the late development of the Korean economy, in which industrialization took place mainly after the Korean War of the early 1950s. The industrial base left after the World War II period of Japanese colonialization was largely destroyed in the war, which also led to the division of the peninsula into North and South Korea. After the war the South Korean economy was almost solely dependent upon the US for military and economic aid. Some import substitution projects were undertaken, but the then president, Mr. Sygman Rhee, was not especially interested in heavy government intervention. Nevertheless, the late 1950s saw the rapid development of the early chaebol , fueled by favorable import license concessions, access to scarce foreign exchange, and government properties seized from the Japanese. However, in 1960 the Rhee government was overthrown and the emerging ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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