The Ellen Moore Case paints a great picture of an individual, who has performed well & has demonstrated outstanding leadership characteristics in one cultural domain. However, with respect to Korean Culture, Ellen, and her colleagues, had very little understanding of the Korean Culture, and therefore were not able to thrive effectively in a leadership capacity in Korea.
I believe Ellen's Boss made a sound decision choosing Ellen to serve in the role, but I also think he also have a very limited understanding of the challenges a female would face in that environment. He should have listened to the Americans, who were on the ground in Korea (WSI) who'd explicitly stated that a woman consultant in Korea would never work. Despite the Koreans, attempts to be Western-minded, their Confucianism-Based Values in Beliefs dominated their thinking at their core. They wanted to accommodate the western needs by saying a woman would be accepted if *qualified*, but that was simply their attempt to accommodate the contract because they needed help.
I do think Ellen went in with the right mindset - to try and master some of the language, and to understand proper business and personal etiquette. But, she had limited time, had received only a 20 page, vague document on Korea, and didn't understand how important the interaction with her business colleagues outside of work was for success. There was more to know than just how to act in the office. What was important to understand was how the individuals she managed would *think*, what are their engrained drivers, and so on.