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Why Does Trump Like Twitter? - paradigm shift in understanding global business culture

"Why Does Trump Like Twitter?" by Shin Yong-kyun and Kim Hyun-jeong

By Park Han-sol

Since joining Twitter a decade ago, U.S. President Donald Trump has posted more than 52,000 tweets to his 81 million followers, disseminating not only his unfiltered personal views, but also official decisions as a head of state. Initially seen as a radical tool, his tweets have now become an important source of information as well as controversy.

Why then does Trump prefer Twitter to all other social media as a tool of communication?

This is what global marketing experts Shin Yong-kyun and Kim Hyun-jeong seek to answer from a business standpoint in their book, "Why Does Trump Like Twitter?"

Kim and Shin, each with over 20 years of experience in global business and marketing strategy, claim that Trump's prolific tweets perfectly represent Anglo-Americans' communicative tendency to be simple and to the point, especially in a professional environment.

Twitter, with its 280-character limit (140 in Korean), is a platform that suits their needs for brevity and time efficiency, according to the authors.

Twitter places a fact-checking warning on U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots, May 26. / Screen capture from Twitter
Twitter places a fact-checking warning on U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots, May 26. / Screen capture from Twitter

But the book is more than a discussion about Trump and Twitter. It also focuses on how the intricate connection between language and culture leads to different ways of communication, decision-making and negotiation, particularly looking at differences within Korean and Anglo-American business communities.

Shin, marketing director at the law firm Shin & Kim, and Kim, who worked at Samsung Medison and Canon Medical Systems, share their stories of trials and tribulations while working with multinational partners for decades.

Shin begins one episode with a conversation he had with his American partner while working as a manager at a firm with overseas channels. "We are part of a family so let's push through this adversity together," he had said. He recounts how bitter he felt when his confused American counterpart responded "but… why are we a family?"

The author finds that Korea's collectivistic culture often contrasts with the West's individualistic culture that expresses a notion of clear ownership, even in an international business setting.

By providing detailed tips and lessons learned from their own experiences, the authors argue that there is a need for "a paradigm shift in our understanding of global business culture."

The prerequisite for success in global business partnerships is no longer simply a matter of language fluency. Instead, Korean businesspeople should aim towards "a true understanding of one's values, mindset, pattern of behavior and culture embedded within one's use of language" to gain insight into partners' work style and problem-solving processes, the book reads.

"Why Does Trump Like Twitter?" aims to serve as a practical guide for Korean entrepreneurs working within the international business setting, focusing heavily on English-speaking cultures in the U.S. and the UK.

Kim and Shin argue that businesspeople can gain a competitive edge through cross-cultural thinking by strategically recognizing and appreciating the linguistic and cultural differences present in professional communication.


"Why Does Trump Like Twitter?" by Shin Yong-kyun and Kim Hyun-jeong

By Park Han-sol

Since joining Twitter a decade ago, U.S. President Donald Trump has posted more than 52,000 tweets to his 81 million followers, disseminating not only his unfiltered personal views, but also official decisions as a head of state. Initially seen as a radical tool, his tweets have now become an important source of information as well as controversy.

Why then does Trump prefer Twitter to all other social media as a tool of communication?

This is what global marketing experts Shin Yong-kyun and Kim Hyun-jeong seek to answer from a business standpoint in their book, "Why Does Trump Like Twitter?"

Kim and Shin, each with over 20 years of experience in global business and marketing strategy, claim that Trump's prolific tweets perfectly represent Anglo-Americans' communicative tendency to be simple and to the point, especially in a professional environment.

Twitter, with its 280-character limit (140 in Korean), is a platform that suits their needs for brevity and time efficiency, according to the authors.

Twitter places a fact-checking warning on U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots, May 26. / Screen capture from Twitter
Twitter places a fact-checking warning on U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets about mail-in ballots, May 26. / Screen capture from Twitter

But the book is more than a discussion about Trump and Twitter. It also focuses on how the intricate connection between language and culture leads to different ways of communication, decision-making and negotiation, particularly looking at differences within Korean and Anglo-American business communities.

Shin, marketing director at the law firm Shin & Kim, and Kim, who worked at Samsung Medison and Canon Medical Systems, share their stories of trials and tribulations while working with multinational partners for decades.

Shin begins one episode with a conversation he had with his American partner while working as a manager at a firm with overseas channels. "We are part of a family so let's push through this adversity together," he had said. He recounts how bitter he felt when his confused American counterpart responded "but… why are we a family?"

The author finds that Korea's collectivistic culture often contrasts with the West's individualistic culture that expresses a notion of clear ownership, even in an international business setting.

By providing detailed tips and lessons learned from their own experiences, the authors argue that there is a need for "a paradigm shift in our understanding of global business culture."

The prerequisite for success in global business partnerships is no longer simply a matter of language fluency. Instead, Korean businesspeople should aim towards "a true understanding of one's values, mindset, pattern of behavior and culture embedded within one's use of language" to gain insight into partners' work style and problem-solving processes, the book reads.

"Why Does Trump Like Twitter?" aims to serve as a practical guide for Korean entrepreneurs working within the international business setting, focusing heavily on English-speaking cultures in the U.S. and the UK.

Kim and Shin argue that businesspeople can gain a competitive edge through cross-cultural thinking by strategically recognizing and appreciating the linguistic and cultural differences present in professional communication.


박한솔 hansolp@koreatimes.co.kr

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