Working and Business > Workplace Business Culture

Business-Corporate Titles


Business-Corporate Titles

The below titles and the order in which they appear reflects, to some extend, the hierarchy within Korean business culture. This is a simplified version of a very comlex system and while it may reflect the norm, it is not to be viewed as an absolute version of either titles or the hierarchy itself.

The important thing to remember is that even in companies that may have recently instituted a ‘no titles’ policy, there are few, if any, truly flat business/cultural/government organisations in Korea. If not expressed in titles, the hierarchy will come out in sentence structure. Note that when speaking to a person of higher rank, you would use the title and add 님 (Nim) - If speaking to the president of a company (not the country) you would say 사장 님 (Sajang-Nim)

If foreign nationals make an error regarding titles or position in the hierarchy it is usually overlooked. That said it sometimes isn’t (particularly if one has been in Korea for a while or if the Korean business person has had little or no experience with foreigners).

Foreign executives are generally treated with respect regardless of their position or title. That said Korean executives usually prefer to deal with someone of a similar rank; some will actually not want to deal with someone of an ‘inferior’ rank. This is changing as the older, more traditional executives, begin to retire and younger, less traditional Korean move into higher level positions.

CORPORATE TITLES

CHAIRMAN: 회장 (Hoejang) 

PRESIDENT: 사장 (Sajang)

VICE-PRESIDENT: 부사장 (Busajang)

EXECUTIVE SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR: 상무이사 (Aangmu Isa)

EXECUTIVE/MANAGING DIRECTOR: 전무 (Jeonmu)

DIRECTOR*: 이사 (Isa)

GENERAL MANAGER: 부장 (Bujang)

DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER: 차장 (Chajang)

CHIEF/HEAD OF A SECTION/MANAGER: 과장 (Gwajang)

TEAM LEADER: 팀장 (Timjang)

ASSISTANT MANAGER: 대리(Daeli)

EMPLOYEE: 사원 (Wawon)

NEW EMPLOYEE (usually recent graduate at the company for less than one year: 신입사원 (Shinip Sawon) 

*DIRECTOR can vary depending on the nature of the business/institution
Director of an arts organisation: 감독 (Gamdog) or 디렉터 (Dilegteo)
Director of a clinic or hospital: 원장 (Wonjang)
Director of a committee: 회장 (Hoejang)
Director of a corporation: 이사 (Isa)
Director of a government office/department: 청장 (Cheongjang)
Director of a research institute: 소장 (Sojang)
Director of a study institute: 원장 (Wonjang)

Others you may see: 실장 (Siljang), 소장 (Sojang), 센터장 (Senteojang), 협회장 (Hyeoghoejang), 부장 (Bujang) or 국장 (Gugjang)
When in doubt which title to use for a Director you can just use: 디렉터 (Director)

NOTE: In recent years, the following have been used, CEO and COO (full title of Chief Executive Office and Chief Operating Officer generally not often seen however).
 

K4E Editor's Note: Korea4Expats.com wants to provide you with as complete and accurate information as possible, so should you find any errors or omissions in the contents above please let us know at info@korea4expats.com

Last Updated on 2017-01-04


In the same header
Business Practices and Etiquette Business-Corporate Titles
Corporate Structure Korean Names and Titles
Language of Business
Winter Holiday Ball, Sat 2 Dec 2017, Haeundae-gu, BusanRock the night away to the LIVE band at the Busan Holiday Ball!
Ronn Branton Jazz Christmas Concert, 24 Dec 2017, Enter the K4E draw to win 2 free tickets. Entry deadline 30 November. Plus 10% discount for K4E visi...
At the Movies This Week - SeoulClick here for a list of English language/subtitled movies and where they are playing in Seoul. For...
Asia Society Luncheon- Downfall of Samsung Ruling Dynasty, 22 Nov 2017, Jung-gu, SeoulFarewell Emperor?: Inside the Downfall of Samsung's Ruling Dynasty - RSVP Deadline 17 Nov
Advertisement
JZ Associate
Seoul Foreign School, K-12 English School, Seodaemun, Seoul
Korea International School-KIS, PK-12 English, Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do
A Plus Dental
TCIS Taejon Christian International School,1 Nov 2017
I want to convert
KoreanClass101 - An online Korean learning system
Helpul telephone numbers seoul korea
EnglishClass101 - An online English learning system
Directory
Cocoonfice, Business Center, Gangnam-gu, Seoul