Samsung to reform its work culture

Samsung has been under pressure to reform its military-style working culture to foster innovation.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips, announced on Thursday that it plans to adopt a corporate culture akin to a start-up, seeking to become more nimble as growth slows.

Samsung’s executives will sign a pledge to move away from a top-down culture and towards a working environment that fosters open dialogue.

The flagship firm of South Korea’s dominant conglomerate will also reduce the number of levels in its staff hierarchy and hold more frequent online discussions between business division heads and employees.

“We aim to reform our internal culture, execute as quickly as a startup company and push towards open communication and continuously innovate,” it said in a statement.

The pronouncement is the latest among sweeping changes attempted at a time of crisis by the conglomerate and carries echoes of a 1993 exhortation by Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee to executives to “change everything but your wife and children”.

Hurt by a rapid decline in smartphone profits and the absence of new businesses to drive growth, Samsung has been under pressure to reform its military-style working culture to foster innovation.

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