Prof. Gervase Bushe brings organizational development insights to Korea

Jun 13, 2013
Gervase Bushe in Korea

Gervase Bushe (centre), Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at the Beedie School of Business, being welcomed to KyungHee University, Korea, for a series of lectures and workshops on leadership and organizational change.

Gervase Bushe, Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at the Beedie School of Business, recently touched down in Seoul, Korea for a series of talks and seminars on leadership and organizational change.

Bushe spoke to some of Korea’s most prominent academic and business leaders, delivering lectures and workshops at Kyung Hee University and to the Korean CEO’s Association of Multinational Corporations, as well as the leadership team of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Korea. Attendees heard about Bushe’s research on the Appreciative Inquiry method of organizational change and his collaborative leadership model, Clear Leadership.

Bushe was invited to Korea by Dr. Young-Chul Chang, Professor of Management, School of Business, KyungHee University. A long-time admirer of Bushe’s work, Chang first approached Bushe about transferring his leadership and organizational change theories to Korean business, and has been instrumental in translating Bushe’s book, Clear Leadership, into Korean. 

“Clear Leadership has a lot of validity as a leadership model with managers in Europe and North America, but until now I have been hesitant to advocate applying it in Asian business cultures,” said Bushe. “With so many Asian business people being educated at western institutions these days, however, attitudes to leadership and employee engagement are shifting, and the positive response I received during my visit demonstrated this.”

The trip required Bushe to run some workshops through sequential translation, resulting in him having to alter his teaching style. Despite the language barrier, however, the workshops were universally well received, with one lecture at Kyung Hee University attracting over 200 faculty and students.

“Professor Bushe made great efforts to meet with Korean managers and CEOs as well as Korean students and faculty members during his short trip to Seoul,” said Chang, who is also Co-President of the Peter Drucker Society of Korea. “He made a significant contribution in helping Korean Organizational Development professionals understand Appreciative Inquiry and its implications for the Dialogic approach to change management. We look forward to hearing more of his insightful talks and workshops in the near future.”

“Korea faces a big challenge to change the culture in our companies and society, and there are still many hidden barriers that require creative and innovative social communication systems,” said Young Duke Cho, CEO of Nano Liquid Devices Korea. “Professor Bushe’s visit and the launch of his book in Korea will be a great starting point for Korean society to change from what he calls ‘interpersonal mush’ to ‘interpersonal clarity’, which I believe will enable us to become a better society.”

To read more about Gervase Bushe’s research on organizational change, download the May/June issue of Ideas@Beedie, the Beedie School of Business’ digital magazine.