Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Forty-five senior Korean executives learned about American-style business leadership from Atlanta CEOs during a program July 1-8 at the Center for Global Business Leadership at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

The GSU center hosted the Korean executive MBA students, who were CEOs, managing directors and other senior executives of Korean and multinational companies, for the international residency portion of their 18-month Korea University Business School program.

The executives participated in workshops moderated by Robinson College faculty on executive leadership, consumer marketing, international finance and business-to-business marketing.

A workshop on executive leadership conducted by James Senn, director of the Center for Global Business Leadership and professor in the Robinson College’s Institute of International Business, highlighted the differences between Korean and American concepts of leadership in the workplace.

“In Korean businesses, like in many Asian countries, they must arrive at more consensual agreements before moving ahead with any business decision. Everybody’s opinion is important,” Dr. Senn told GlobalAtlanta of the biggest difference the group found between American and Korean business styles.

Atlanta-based BrantleyHouse LLC led workplace simulation exercises for the group, who also visited Coca-Cola Co., United Parcel Service Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Some of the executives’ companies have offices in Atlanta, so they have been here before, Dr. Senn said.

While the group visited world-renowned Atlanta-based companies, Dr. Senn said they were also impressed with Atlanta’s its 1996 Olympic Games legacy.

“They are aware of Atlanta as an Olympic city. That still carries a lot of meaning in Asia,” he said.

The executives were engaging, had a good command of English and insight into business, so they asked challenging questions and brought up new ideas during the simulations, Dr. Senn said.

Some of the participants included the CEO of General Electric International B.V.’s plastics division in Korea, the CEO of Hyosung Electronics Co. Ltd., the general manager of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the general manager of Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., an executive of Korea East-West Power Co. Ltd. and an executive of Hana Bank.

“So the chaebol were represented,” Dr. Senn said, referring to the several dozen large, family-controlled corporate groups in Korea that are assisted by government financing.

The group met with the members of the Korean Consulate General in Atlanta during a reception here, toured Cable News Network LP LLLP and the Georgia Aquarium, attended an Atlanta Braves baseball game and celebrated the 4th of July at Centennial Olympic Park.

The group enjoyed Atlanta so much that some members were considering extending their stay, Dr. Senn said.

The Robinson College has received Korea University executive MBAs each year for the past two years. The executives spend another week at Fudan University in Shanghai as part of the MBA program.

Contact Tammy DeMel at the Robinson College at (404) 651-2645 or tdemel@gsu.edu for more information.