In the 1990s, after three decades of explosive growth, the future of Korean companies looked brighter than ever. They had transformed themselves from local players in a poor developing country to strong global competitors commanding not only vast human, financial, and technological assets, but also occupying high global market shares in a wide range of advanced manufacturing industries such as steel, shipbuilding, automobiles, electronics, and microelectronics. Competitors in Western countries and in Japan eventually woke up to the challenge the Korean companies posed to them and realized they had to take them very seriously. For the first time, the outside world developed an interest in how Korean companies were organized and managed, as documented by various books on this subject published in English during the 1990s.2 In short, Korean companies were the rising stars in the global business world.