Dr. Cheul Rhee is visiting Haaga-Helia due to the new visiting scholar programme launched in November 2018. During the next autumn, he will teach and join research, development and innovation activities at Haaga-Helia.
Rhee has a long career investigating IT commercialization and ecommerce, with a special interest in the human factor and behavior in online environment. A familiar subject in Haaga-Helia as well. Haaga-Helia's own SalesLab and eComLab apply artificial intelligence and biometrics to study new insights on human behavior in sales.
– Online personality is unique and usually very different from the online world. Human behavior is something that is always melted into my research in some way. I have a very psychological perspective on consumption and decision-making.
According to Rhee, online environment is especially interesting because of the shift in power that started in 1980's. Before that, the sellers had the bargaining power. This meant that if you had a good product, you could sell it.
– Today the customer has the power. The products, their prices and the quality are very similar and it's not so easy to tell which product is better. The companies need to start to think about what is the thing that makes their product special.
From local to global market
Rhee states that a good example of heterogeneous products is the food industry. It is something that is of special interest to Rhee, especially the packaging. It's something that might differentiate a company's product from others when the quality and price are almost the same.
– I believe that if we can create a specific process we can make better a product. Packaging, distribution and logistics in general are all connected. My aim is to create a place where we can coordinate all these parties.
According to Rhee food industry is by nature more or less local and is still kind of limited in that sense. However, he believes that it is growing more and more global every day. This is the one reason he was interested in Northern Europe and why he decided to visit Finland.
– Finland has a pretty small market and is very isolated, as are many other places in the world. It's not so easy to diversify the food offering. I have a strong belief that the future will be very different; there will be more and more trade with other countries.
Forming a lasting connection
At the moment, Rhee does research and teaches at the University of Ajou, near Seoul, the capital of South Korea. His vision is that in the future he can combine industry and education in some way.
– In my courses, I always try to teach using real-life cases. This is something that I also plan to do here at Haaga-Helia. I believe they give a proper inside to the business world.
So what does Rhee actually wish to achieve during his visit at Haaga-Helia?
– My wish is to explore and learn a lot. For example, I hope that I get to work with technical people and learn from them. I also hope that this visit will form a lasting connection between the two universities.
Want to know more about the Visiting scholar -programme? More information here.
You can also read the interview of another visiting scholar: Luis Martín-Domingo.