• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-11-08 16:55
By Lee Bo-hyoung



I often eat breakfast at a bakery chain.  Bread bowls are usually my choice.  Corn soup is served in a hollowed-out pumpkin-sized loaf of bread.  Even in the early morning, over the glass wall, I can see that the bakers' hands are busy. 

However, on September 23rd of this year, I came to understand the business model of how my bread bowl is produced.  According to the outcome of a labor inspection by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, bakers at the franchised stores had been illegally dispatched and directly managed by the franchisor.  The Ministry, therefore, ordered the franchisor to directly hire all the bakers working at its franchise stores. 

This decision has sparked controversy among legal experts and industry players.  Although some opinion is that the government's decision was too strict, little is known about what the franchisor has done or is doing to prepare for future changes and to navigate associated risks. 

During the past ten years, many companies have been using illegal dispatch workers.  Courts, however, have found in favor of employees in most dispatch worker cases involving companies such as Hyundai Motors and GM.  Moreover, over the past several years, franchise chains have driven out local small businesses, and the concern over franchisors’ abuse of their powers has been a continuously prevailing issue.  Thus, the Moon administration has rolled out strong labor policies strengthening labor inspections and imposing strict regulations on labor malpractices such as illegal dispatches.

From the perspective of a communications expert, the Ministry’s decision does not seem to have been made on a whim or an act of coincidence.  According to Heinrich's Law, every accident that results in a significant injury is preceded by 29 accidents that lead to minor injuries and 300 accidents that cause no injuries at all.

The same goes for the company that recently came under the spotlight because of issues relating to its feminine hygiene products.  Even before the public outcry over the safety of its menstrual care products, many posts on the internet had claimed that these products caused health problems including missed or irregular periods.  The eventual outcome may, therefore, have been very different had the company monitored these consumer complaints and proactively addressed these concerns.  The company may have grumbled about why its consumers were unleashing their anger over its business practices, but instead of complaining, the company should have fixed the practices causing problems.

In this respect, the acts of the Samsung Group are worth mentioning.  Unlike other organizations, Samsung resolved its regular wage issues after the Supreme Court’s ruling on regular wages in December 2013.  Furthermore, as the National Assembly is currently pushing for legislation that will reduce working hours to 52, Samsung is said to be already preparing for this legal change in working hours. 

In order for a business to survive and grow sustainably, it must understand the market, its competitors, and consumer trends.  Likewise, it is also an essential part of any business to monitor and assess the risks to the external environment such as regulatory and policy changes, and social trends.  Business organizations, therefore, need to create strategies to proactively respond to anticipated changes and associated risks; to successfully implement such strategies, they need to communicate with their stakeholders and convince them.  Furthermore, it is imperative that business organizations be able to shape favorable public opinion by effectively informing the public of their views and stance.  This management of the non-market environment is what we call public affairs (PA).

From a PA point of view, the franchisor seemed to pay little attention to manage the non-market environment.  Instead, the franchisor seemed to rely solely on its business model: it ensured that skilled bakers, trained under the company strategy and guidance, make fresh bread of the same quality in its 3,300 stores.  Now, changes in the external environment have made this once successful model illegal. Accordingly, just as the formula for success that made ‘the miracle on the Han River’ becomes the rule of ‘yesterday’, we must remember that relying on past methods is no guarantee for future success.  To achieve sustainable growth, we must strive to create new formulas for success.


Lee Bo-hyoung is CEO of Macoll Consulting Group.


  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS