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Management Report

Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Liberal Arts Changing Business Management

Liberal Arts Changing Business Management

HAN Il-Young, HAN Chang-Soo, SHIN Hyung-Won, KIM Jin-Sung

Aug. 29, 2011

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Against an increasingly complicated and volatile business environment, companies are realizing that a competitive edge cannot be secured with technology and price differentiation alone. Thus, Korean companies in their search for new breakthroughs are turning to liberal arts for insights and guidance that statistical iterations and business models are unable to provide.

According to a survey on CEOs of Korean companies by Samsung Economic Research Institute, 97.8% of respondents said that knowledge of liberal arts helps business management. Also, 82.7% of respondents said that they are willing to hire people who have a deep appreciation for liberal arts.

But while CEOs of Korean companies are displaying more interest in liberal arts and delving into books unrelated to business, most of them are still struggling on how to incorporate liberal arts into management tasks and operations. Rather than making an attempt to apply insights and ideas from liberal arts, CEOs are simply arranging in-house liberal arts courses for their workforce. Furthermore, there is scarce effort in actively hiring of liberal arts majors or forming special teams of them.

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