The Importance of History in Human Resource Management (Philippines Setting)

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The importance of History in Human Resource Management
History is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of Current English as “a continuous record of events.” As such, a country’s history encapsulates all that has happened in the country, and between it and other countries. A country, at a particular point in time, is thus the result of its history. Understanding a country’s history is fundamental to understanding the country and its people.

In addition to shaping cultural values, history also shapes more spontaneous behavior.

International managers are well advised to understand the history of any country where they do business. This understanding should encompass events in the distant past, as well as more recent ones. It should include the local perspective, as well as the perspective from outside of the country. Understanding a country’s history allows a manager to place local values behaviors in context. Often, this means, understanding the stresses and conflicts that exist within a country

Pre-Spanish Period
The first people in the Philippines, the Negritos, are believed to have come to the islands 30,000 years ago from Borneo and Sumatra, making their way across then-existing land bridges. According to popular belief, Malays subsequently came from the south in successive waves, the earliest by land bridges and later in boats by sea. In contrast, modern archeological, linguistic, and genetic evidence strongly suggests that those successive waves of migrants came from Taiwan as the Austronesian sub-group, Malayo-Polynesians. From Taiwan, the Austronesians first spread southward across the Philippines, then on to Indonesia, Malaysia, and as far away as Polynesia and Madagascar. The migrants settled in scattered communities, named barangays after the large outrigger boats in which they arrived, and ruled by chieftains known often as datus. Mainland Chinese merchants and traders arrived and settled in the ninth century, sometimes traveling on the ships of Arab traders, who introduced Islam in the south and extended some influence even into Luzon. The Malayo-Polynesians, however, remained the dominant group until the Spanish arrived in the 16th century.

Spanish Period
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines and claimed the archipelago for Spain in 1521, but was killed shortly after arriving when he intervened in a dispute between rival tribes. Christianity was established in the Philippines only after the arrival of the succeeding Spanish expeditionary forces (the first led by Legazpi in the early 16th century) and the Spanish Jesuits, and in the 17th and 18th centuries by the conquistadores. Until Mexico proclaimed independence from Spain in 1810, the islands were under the administrative control of Spanish North America, and there was significant migration between North America and the Philippines. This period was the era of conversion to Roman Catholicism. A Spanish colonial social system was developed with a local government centered in Manila and with considerable clerical influence. Spanish influence was strongest in Luzon and the central Philippines but less so in Mindanao, save for certain coastal cities. The long period of Spanish rule was marked by numerous uprisings. Towards the latter half of the 19th century, European-educated Filipinos or ilustrados (such as the Chinese Filipino national hero Jose Rizal) began to criticize the excesses of Spanish rule and instilled a new sense of national identity. This movement gave inspiration to the final revolt against Spain that began in 1896 under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo (another Chinese Filipino) and continued until the Americans defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Aguinaldo declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.

During those two period, there are no formal and permanent groups existed that would necessitate the...
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