The Philippines is a cultural anomaly. Situated in the heart of South East Asia, the Philippines are quite unique among the nations situated around it. Being heavily influenced by Spain, Mexico, The United States and the Catholic Church add to its uniqueness.
Inhabited by around 92 million people the culture of the Philippines is quite diverse. The majority are of ethnic Malay stock. However, unlike neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia the influence of Islam has been limited. “Many western values have been assimilated through the predominant Roman Catholic Church (world business).” Combined with the legacy of U.S. Colonial rule this has produced an approach to business which is influenced by Asian values but not dominated by them.
The Philippines is neither completely of the East nor of the West. “Cultural Homework” is a virtual prerequisite before entering into the business world of the Philippines (world business). Many businesses have tried to assimilate themselves into the Filipino culture with little effort made at studying the culture and people of this island nation and have failed.
Management style in the Philippines trends toward the paternalistic. Managers should take care in recognizing the presence of strong Filipino characteristics which are an underlying factor in all personal relationships in the country.
First, being embarrassed in public causes many problems for individuals in the Philippines. It is considered extremely rude to reprimand someone in public for any reason. Keeping this in mind managers should treat subordinates with respect while at the same time maintaining the dignity of the manager’s role as the boss. Customer service can be greatly impacted by businesses in the Philippines in a positive or negative way depending upon how a manager handles situations in the public eye.
Secondly, relationships in the Philippines run deep in the culture and...