1993 volume 25(1) pages 81 – 93
doi:10.1068/a250081

Cite as:
Park S O, 1993, "Industrial restructuring and the spatial division of labor: the case of the Seoul metropolitan region, the Republic of Korea" Environment and Planning A 25(1) 81 – 93

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Industrial restructuring and the spatial division of labor: the case of the Seoul metropolitan region, the Republic of Korea

S O Park

Received 19 September 1991; in revised form 10 January 1992

Abstract. This paper is an overview of an industrial restructuring and spatial division of labor in the Seoul metropolitan region, with a focus on the role of the Korean government, corporate strategy, and regional characteristics in controlling labor and capital. The spatial division of labor that appeared in the 1970s was related mainly to the Korean government's promotion of the rise of large enterprises to institutionalize heavy and chemical industrial development. Since the 1980s, in addition to the role of the state, corporate strategy and regional characteristics have been regarded as important factors for understanding the undergoing industrial restructuring. Concentration and development of high-tech industries in the Seoul metropolitan region during the 1980s have progressed with evolving intensified spatial division of labor beyond the spatial separation of headquarters and production units. The evolution of intensified spatial division of labor is the result of corporate strategy which regionally separates technical workers from production workers on the one hand, and corporate strategy in utilizing regional characteristics from the government's decentralization policy on the other hand.

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