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A mad man’s negotiation strategy

Posted August. 11, 2017 08:14,   

Updated August. 11, 2017 09:04


Lee Soo-ryong, auditor of the Industrial Bank of Korea, went on a business trip to Buenos Aires to attend a general meeting of the International Council for Small Business from June 24 through July 2. While President Moon Jae-in was visiting the U.S. for a summit, Lee was explaining the excellence of the bank in South America. It is doubtful why an auditor whose role is to check management had to fly over 30 hours to promote the bank.

Given that it is not unusual for politicians and bureaucrats take an executive position in the private sector, an auditor would unlikely think seriously about his overseas business trip. More and more would think, “I deserve enjoying it.” Fifteen employees of the Korail Tourism Development travelled to Fukuoka to study advanced railway services for three days from June 21. They took Shinkansen, Japan’s speed train, and toured the Railway History Museum. What they learned from the business trip was -- “Let’s do skills-based volunteering for CSR, let’s adopt a mentoring system, and let’s improve services.” But they are not alone.

What applicants expect from state-owned enterprises is also welfare. The CEO of a public entity asked new employees to write down what they expect from the company. He confessed that he wanted to throw away the proposal that said they want air conditioners to get cranked up. He criticized that young employees at public entities today are test-taking technicians, which reflects his disappointment at employees and sneering at the organization. Employees believe that the CEO appointed from the above will leave soon and labor and management blame each other and try to take benefits in an owner-less public company.

Internal audit and the government’s management eval‎uation system are the tools that can control public entities that are complacent in nature. However, it has long been regarded that the role of an auditor is meaningless and powerless. Even government officials cannot chastise the entities. The senior presidential secretaries in the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae pushed for a performance-based system in the previous administration, while leading the management of public entities. It is shameful to ask for an increase in full-time regular jobs. Kim Yong-jin, the second vice minister of strategy and finance who introduced a performance-based system last year as the CEO of the Korea East-West Power, abolished the system by himself.

It is the government’s plan to use public entities that are bureaucratic and simple as a model for job growth. Are we going to be the only one who remains in the 20th century dominated by televisions and automobile technologies in this super-connected world trying to find a new order and going beyond limits in chaos? It is just a second that public entities that are smiling in secret could be a monster that no one can control.