April 07, 2012 08:13
While most Koreans think the difference between rich and poor is the biggest problem plaguing Korean society, foreigners believe it is the hierarchy based on seniority.
This was the result of a survey by the Corea Image Communication Institute of 317 Koreans and 209 foreigners, including academics, CEOs and diplomats based in Seoul.
Some 151 or 46 percent of Korean respondents said social class differences pose the most serious problem in communication, and 71 or 22 percent named the generation gap. The seniority-based hierarchy in organizations came third with 59 votes or 19 percent.
But among foreign respondents, the order was reversed, with an overwhelming 124 or 59 percent naming seniority as the biggest obstacle, followed by 36 or 17 percent for the generation gap and a mere 19, or 9 percent, for social class differences.
Many of the Korean respondents believed self-centered communication and lack of regard for others hurts smooth communication in Korea (179, or 56 percent). Lack of training in communication resulting from learning by rote came second (69, or 22 percent), and a tendency to run with the herd third (51, or 16 percent).
But again that order was reversed among foreigners, most of whom blamed the culture of running with the herd (115, or 55 percent), followed by rote-learning (39, or 19 percent), and self-centered communication (31, or 15 percent).
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