May 17 2006
ILR Leads Seminar for South Korean Delegation
ILR recently conducted a custom seminar for thirty managers, engineers and customer service employees from LG Electronics of Seoul, Korea. The 3-day program, Management and Labor Relations in the U.S, was a collaborative program developed jointly by ILR's Ithaca, Buffalo, and New York City offices. The program began in Ithaca where Dean Harry Katz, Professor Sarosh Kuruvilla, and Ph.D. candidate Soonwon Kwon led sessions focusing on improving HR management, international labor trends, and strategic employment relations.
To complement the classroom discussions, LGE managers had an opportunity to talk directly with U.S. managers the next day at a Ford stamping plant near Buffalo, NY. The visit included a plant tour (with a cross-cultural side trip for authentic Buffalo-style wings at lunch). Arthur Wheaton of ILR's Buffalo district office organized the day and accompanied LGE managers.
The group then traveled to ILR's New York-metro office where they were joined by LGE's vice president of HR and longtime friend to the school, Young-Kee Kim. Managers from LGE's U.S. operations also joined their colleagues in NYC where ILR extension faculty member Peter Lazes conducted a workshop on critical factors that contribute to effective work organizations. The presentation looked also at the role management and union leaders need to play in order for organizations to be high performing. Quoting Peter Lazes, "This LGE management leadership team was impressive in terms of knowledge of workplace issues and their eagerness to explore ways to improve their organization's ability to engage and involve employees in daily and strategic decision-making."
A second company visit took place at Colgate-Palmolive's corporate headquarters in Manhattan where ILR alumnus Steve Gorkin, vice president of global labor relations, welcomed LGE managers for an interactive discussion on Colgate’s new performance management system and its corporate code of conduct.
LGE's visit also proved to be an important opportunity for ILR faculty at each location to exchange ideas and learn more about practices and trends in South Korea.