Filipino Management Style

Management style tends towards the paternalistic as is often found in strongly hierarchical cultures.

However, managers need to be aware of certain strong Filipino characteristics, which underpin personal relationships within the country.

Firstly, people are extremely careful to ensure that others do not suffer embarrassment or any sense of shame (hiya) as a result of their own actions or their inability to meet the expectations of others. It is considered to be very bad behaviour to criticise another in public, as this is the greatest insult that can be given. To be openly criticised in public results in a loss of self-esteem and personal dignity. Any attack on an individual’s self-esteem may have to be revenged.

Therefore, managers are keen to treat subordinates with respect whilst, at the same time, maintaining the dignity of the position of boss. Instructions will be given clearly and precisely and subordinates will be expected to follow those instructions with little or no discussion.

Secondly, relationship bonds run deep in Filipino culture and the manager expects loyalty. In return for this loyalty the boss will look after the interests of those subordinates. It is very much a reciprocal arrangement.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in the Philippines

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in the Philippines. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in the Philippines and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips