Associate Professor KIM Rebecca ChungHee, College of International Management


Professor TAKEKAWA Shunichi, College of Asia Pacific Studies


Assistant Professor KOJIMA Shinji, College of Asia Pacific Studies


KORENAGA Shun, President of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Center for Language Education Professor UMEDA Chisako


Associate Professor KIM Rebecca ChungHee, College of International Management

Position : Associate Professor, College of International Management
Degree : BA (HUFS, Korea), MBA Teaching course (Korea University), MIM (Strathclyde, UK,), PhD in Management Research Strathclyde, UK
Nationality : South Korea
Research Interests : Business Ethics, International Management, Comparative corporate social responsibility (CSR), Sustainability management, Creating shared value (CSV), Cross cultural management, Management of international relationships
Work experiences : Embassy, Government Affiliated Organization, NGO, CSR Consulting
Teaching experiences : Teaching at University of Nottingham Malaysia, Strathclyde University and Edinburgh University in the UK

In this edition of Professor Close-up, we introduce you to Professor KIM Rebecca Chung-hee, an enthusiastic and passionate professor in the College of International Management.

Having born and grown up in Korea, after graduating from university and working for several years, she started her journey as a Master student and then a PhD researcher in Strathclyde University in the UK. She has been working and travelling to over 25 countries, so much that I could no longer see the hard working academic researcher in her but a free and knowledgeable soul, who has enlightened me with valuable things.

The first one was related to languages and interpretation. Professor KIM regarded language as a means to the end, which meant that language is an important and indispensable tool for everything in life, but it is not the ultimate aim. She told me a story about her trip to Vietnam, where she met an alumna of APU working for Sumitomo Corporation in Vietnam. The senior could speak English, Japanese, and Vietnamese fluently, so she could become the bridge between Japan and Vietnam. Therefore, based on the language competency (both cultural and linguistic competency), we can be professionals in any field, and create our own competitiveness and value. With this, we can contribute to the global society. It should be our fundamental aim.

When I learned about Korea and Japan, I noticed many similarities between two countries, but I wondered if there were some differences in them, so I asked Professor KIM, who came from Korea, to elaborate about this. According to Professor, because of the history and the people’s perceptions on certain things, it is inescapable that there are some differences. However, how we could deal with these kinds of difference is more important than problem itself. She said that we needed to continuously ask “WHY?” “What are the reasons behind it?”, and “How can we appreciate and love their mindset and culture?” in order to respect and interpret the differences. Therefore, when we communicate with the others, it is important to listen to. To listen is to respect and to understand the differences. Especially in interpretation, she told me the story of her working experience as an interpreter to the Korean Minister of Home Affairs and Israeli Ambassador to Korea. During those times, she always listened to others’ interest and ideas carefully and tried to convey a constructive approach to the other side. However, I wondered if an interpreter could change the truth or maintain them. From Professor’s experience, interpretation is not about words by words, but about how we can bring the positive atmosphere between the two sides and facilitate win-win outcome. So, excellent interpretation is not only about the work of language proficiency but also cultural competency. The professional interpreter needs to become the bridge between two countries, to transfer the ideas from one side to the other side in the most positive and constructive way.

The second one was about business ethics. In the latest research, she conducted experiments upon the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Asia. According to the research, Asian people are prone to consider CSR charity or PR while Western counterparts try to create benefits and profits upon those activities. However, as professor told me, the most important factor is ethical leadership. The problem with CSR is that a business needs to gain the trust from the society. In order to achieve the trust of the citizens, it needs to behave ethically. The reason behind the failure of many CSR activities of Asian corporations lies in the fact that they used to carry out misbehaviors and unethical things in the past, which lost the trust of the citizens. Therefore, whenever they conduct CSR activities, the citizens would criticize them, meaning that they fail to create their own value to the society. When I asked professor about her definition of a successful business, she told me that “A successful business is a business which creates their own unique value to the society, and lives long in a sustainable way by giving positive impact on the society.”

Professor then emphasized the problem of business schools around the globe today: They tend to mainly teach students how to make money but forget to teach them how to create their own value and contribute to the society. When students come out to the real world, the company will pay for their own value. Therefore, it is important that students learn how to create their own value since they are still studying at university. As long as you have your own competitive value, people (customers) will pay for it.

To end the interview, I asked professor if she had some advice for APU students. She said, “At APU, we have many smart and intelligent students, but I can see some problems of them, which is mainly about the gap of time management. You cannot do perfectly many things at the same time. The best strategy is to select only one and prime thing to focus on creating your own distinctive competitiveness. Focus, focus, focus!

So passionate she is, Professor KIM has taught me many valuable lesson regarding business and society. If possible, I could meet and have a meaningful conversation, either as a Student Press Assistant, or any other positions, with her again in the future.

Note :Position given is accurate at the time of publication.
Student Press Assistant (SPA)
TRAN Thi Viet Hai (Vietnam)