Korean Dramas and Films: Key Factors for Their International Competitiveness

in Asian Journal of Social Science
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The Korean wave, which is the popularity of Korean entertainment outside Korea, is a fairly new phenomenon. Encompassing Korean dramas, films, and songs, it has been highlighted by international media outlets and scholars. Several prestigious newspapers and scholars attempted to explain the competitiveness of the Korean wave, but they have remained biased by missing, overemphasizing, or overlapping important success factors. To provide a more comprehensive and accurate analysis, this paper conducts a rigorous study on the competitiveness of Korean entertainment industry focused on Korean dramas and films with a comprehensive analytical tool, the generalized double diamond model. The results of this study provide evidences that the Korean wave is not a temporary phenomenon but a sustainable industry segment. For further enhancement of this important industry, this paper suggests useful implications, including international cooperation with other countries.

Korean Dramas and Films: Key Factors for Their International Competitiveness

in Asian Journal of Social Science



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MK Business (2010) classified Korean wave as “Korean wave 1.0” and “Korean wave 2.0.” The first refers to mainly Korean dramas and films while the latter is extended to Korean musicals and K-pop. This paper focuses more on Korean dramas and films which are the main momentums for the beginning of the Korean Wave.


Porter’s (1990) diamond model has four determinants and two additional variables: four endogenous and two exogenous. The two exogenous variables are government and chance and they are uncontrollable for firms and industries (Porter 1990: 73). Therefore this study focuses on the four endogenous determinants.


Porter and Stern (2001) used “context for strategy and rivalry” instead of “strategy structure and rivalry” employed by Porter (1990). In this study context for strategy and rivalry is referred as business context.

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