Tip 1
The Philippines is the result a unique cultural mix of Asian and Western influences and presents the overseas business visitor with a host of seemingly conflicting characteristics.
Tip 2
Asian concepts such as the importance of the preservation of face coexist with such Latin characteristics as male machismo and the need to seek revenge for any perceived personal slights.
Tip 3
Most Filipino companies are hierarchically structured and local employees would look to a strong hierarchy as the sign of a well-run organisation. Flatter, matrix-oriented structures championing such concepts as delegation may be viewed with suspicion.
Tip 4
As companies tend to be hierarchical and family-run, decision making tends to be located with a few senior managers. All decisions will emanate from the top and be filtered down to middle management for implementation.
Tip 5
Expect a good level of education and professional competence from the local managerial cadre working at the middle levels of Filipino companies.
Tip 6
Develop contacts at all levels of an organisation - at the top for decision making purposes, and lower down for when projects begin.
Tip 7
Managers are expected to manage and make decisions. These decisions will then be communicated to subordinates who are expected to comply with requests.
Tip 8
Instructions should be given clearly and in detail. People will do what is asked of them but may be unwilling to second-guess the unspoken requests of a superior. Do not expect too much individual initiative.
Tip 9
Meetings can seem quite relaxed with time keeping being less rigidly adhered to than in many other cultures. Meetings can start up to one hour late.
Tip 10
Relationship building is very important in the Philippines and all meetings will start with the obligatory small talk to re-establish contact. Do not try to rush this part of the meeting. This section sets the tone of what follows.