Most large Filipino companies are controlled by the members of a small number of key families and as with most family-run businesses structures tend to be extremely hierarchical with power residing in the hands of a few senior managers (usually family members).
The influence of Western business practices can be seen by the presence of very well educated and trained middle managers who are responsible for the application of decisions made by senior management.
Thus, it is important to develop contacts at various levels within a Filipino organisation. As most decisions are made at the top it is imperative to have good contacts at this level, as much time can be wasted trying to influence people lower down the chain who are not really decision-makers. It is also important, however, to develop and maintain good relationships with the middle management level who will eventually be tasked to work with you on day-to-day issues.
In the early stages of developing contacts with Filipino organisations, it is important that senior level contacts are not insulted by being asked to receive lower ranking representatives from your firm. Be aware of the face issues and field senior people when meeting senior Filipino representatives.
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This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Philippines only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.