The Philippiness national culture
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This essay will be discussing the Philippines’s national culture, critically analyse Hofstede’s and Trompenaars theory, management style pertinent to Philippine culture and critically reflect on a management experience as well as relate them to management models and national culture. Culture defines as adequate or intolerable, significant or insignificant, correct or mistake, practical or impracticable. It contains of, ideas, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, taboos, codes, institutions, tools, works of art, ceremonies, techniques and symbols. It has played a vital role in social development, letting human existences to adjust the situation to their particular purpose on somewhat be contingent merely on natural selection to attain adaptive success (Business Dictionary n.d.). Hofstede (2001) referred culture to the beliefs, behaviour, values, attitudes and symbols, but is an impartial implication of culture. It also links to other issues such as, uniting as a group or a family, language, and identity. Sinha (2009) also highlighted culture as learning thru enculturation which is unintentional practice that contains all of the knowledge obtained as the effect of what is in an environment to be learned. Dr. Fons Trompenaars highlighted the meaning of culture as shared approach of solving human problems in which converts dilemmas in 3 structures in relation to human beings with five aspects, time and nature (THT consulting 2009). Knowing other cultures certainly helps to build cultural awareness, influence managers, completion of job and understanding of cultural diversity in which it affects working relations.
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The opulent Philippines heritage is entrenched through the chains of epic works. The Philippine heritage has not remained limited into walls of old buildings but even found its way through the natural ghettoes surrounded by white sandy beaches which also houses some of the important traditional landmarks of the country. The Philippine culture is indeed very colourful that makes it distinctly different from the rest of the world by having diverse in arts, language, traditions, cultural heritage, and spoken languages which found in the heart of the cities. The Philippines has also countless historical and cultural evolution of its country with different churches, museums and galleries are accessible to have left their native land for a better opportunity. Arcilla (2003) stated that Philippines practices and customs are predominantly persuaded of its ancient colonized influences. The Philippines was under the Spanish occupation which lasted almost 300 decade and significantly influences the Philippines customs and traditions (Halili, 2004). The Philippine colonization by the Spaniards steered an ingression of foreign expertise. Nevertheless, historic attestations acclaimed that Filipinos (Arcilla, 2003) has been significantly progressive than the Spaniards and was established architects. Because of the diverse knowledge, they have developed their own specific set of armours that was distinctive in them and were extensively utilized as combat items. The former civilization powerfully assumed the morals of valour and bravery where they co-existed in a close family ties with definite passionate values gaining the major impact. They consisted of diverse communities and their means of living included artistic making of jewelleries, pots, metals and quarrying. They were good makers of handicrafts and made statuettes utilized as house ornaments, some other items made of wood were used in the churches for religious purposes. (Workman, 2008) Tagalog as the main language has various similarities to the Spanish language (Castilla, 2008). Kwintessential (n.d.) also noted that the national language of the Filipinos (before Pilipino) is Tagalog but despite of their official language merely 55 percent who can speak in Tagalog for there are listed that there’s 171 dialects all over the Philippines however English is commonly used in educational, governmental and commercial. Arcilla (2003) cited that Philippines is one of the leading English speaking country next to United States and United Kingdom. Filipinos (Lewis, 2009) are spiritual; they have so many religious traditions that has been influenced by Christianity, paganism and other religious practices. They celebrate the commemoration of this practices or traditions with colourful fireworks, processions, dances in the fields, tournaments called fiesta. These fiestas are Spanish influences that have continued until today. Islam faith also exists in celebrating their very own unique customs and traditions.
Ness (2003) cited that analysing broadly the Philippines art and culture can be imperfect unless the nightlife in rushed streets and crowded places is showed. It also features beautiful coral and white beaches, rendezvous for nature lovers and astounding islands for daredevil adventures for scuba diving and wake boarding.
The cultural dimensions of Hampden Turner will be critically compared and analyse with Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars cultural dimensions. Buchanan and Huczynski (2007) cited the Hofstede’s four scopes that consisted of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism – collectivism and masculinity – femininity as well as long-term orientation (Hofstede Analysis n.d). Furthermore Trompenaars has seven dimensions which are universalism against particularism, individualism against communitarianism, specific in contradiction of diffuse, affectivity against neutrality, internally controlled nature contrasted with externally controlled nature, achieved status set against ascribed status, and sequential time contrasted with synchronic time (THT consulting 2009). These famous anthropologists who examine questionnaires meant for the managers or executive and staff in the corporate world with diverse cultures conducts their own conclusion and which they have now their own cultural dimensions. Resemblance is noted between two dimensions which is individualism – collectivism and communitarianism versus individualism, both deals with the groups or individuals that are contented to work alone or in group in achieving common goals. According to Gooderham and Nordhaug (2003) both agreed on some countries like Japan which is weak in terms of individualism while UK and USA are somewhat individualistic, but in contrast with Trompenaars several countries seemed to be more individualistic than Hofstede’s studied. Likewise with the achievement value orientation described on how status is accorded and how will they perform their functions or what the person is. Employee’s longevity in the company are being promoted base on lengthy tenure rather than on accomplishment. This can be seen in countries such as Austria and China as ascription culture. This can be linked to power distance as Hofstede’s theory where one accepts the status given to them by nature rather than achievement, and replicates an improved preparedness in admitting distances in power. Nevertheless, this is in contrast with Hofstede’s power distance wherein it is not only link on the status rendered to them but as well as the acceptable power distance in culture (Smothermann and Kooros, 2001). McSweeney (2002) disagreed in Hofstede’s model noting that national culture is unlikely as a factor of behaviour. He criticized Hofstede dimension it’s not any more reliable which the IBM data is already obsolete. The variances of the two models are the time frames which signify cultural changes and cultures change appear throughout the time (Hodgetts and Luthans, 2005).
Hofstede and Trompenaars theories are useful and reliable in the organisation even to its leader. Organisations need to understand the diversity of culture. The reliability and viability of the Philippine management styles can be related to the paternalistic dimension of Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) and high power distance of Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) which are strong hierarchical cultures. Filipinos take advantage of power of those who are insubordinate to them although other managers are keen to treat subordinates with respect, to uphold their dignity and protect position (Waner, 2003). This result to uncertainty avoidance that is relaxed in unknown situation and others are comfortable in anticipate problems from happening. WadaTripp2’s (2010) cited that Hofstede discovered that other countries are anxious on what might happen in the future. Filipinos loves protecting their dignity and value to prevent being the laughing stock of the community (Halili, 2004). According to Hechanova and Fraco, (2008) Filipinos focuses on people and relationships to find sense of belonginess with interaction to fit in a group, this result to collectivism or communitarianism and diffuse (Hofstede 2001 and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2006). Filipinos are more on achievement status (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2006) regardless of background as long as they have done great achievements in life. Although Filipinos are passive and live in the present that they do not think or find solution to the current problem as noted in Hofstede findings, short term oriented (Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005). In contrast of masculinity and femininity of Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) findings in the Philippines, nowadays male and female have their equal jobs that men help in the house and female can now do any job, on the other hand before male’s tend to do all the work and female’s need to stay in the house taking care of their children (Arcilla, 2003). Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) cited that Filipinos have poor time orientation as they can be early or really late. Morga (2006) also cited that some Filipinos can be punctual in their business dealings.
Every business establishment need to answer skilfully, successfully, competently and suitably to various hostile circumstances that threaten to interrupt dangerous events. Specific individual is required to be nominated for the responsibility in responding and preserving business continuity. As I was on duty at the hotel as senior manager for the front desk, a critical incident in King Karlo Hotel occurred on the 9th of August 2008, a customer reported an allegation that the food she has eaten while staying in the hotel that caused her discomfort such as diarrhoea and vomiting. She stated that she was admitted in the hospital and rehydrated as she really fell ill. She also filed a formal complaint and threatened to file a lawsuit to the company. We saw an individualism of Hofstede (2001) and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) applied to the complaint that “I” is important than others therefore an apology was made an incident form was completed to protect the company’s reputation and dignity as cited in Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) uncertainty avoidance and diffuse (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2006). The customer was informed that a formal investigation will be commenced and she will be informed of the outcome. An immediate investigation was also commenced by doing a root cause analysis (RCA). RCA is a responsive system of problem investigation and solving. Nielsen (2009) cited that RCA is characteristically related in working events, although there is no viable excuse for the tool to be effective in determining the causative factor of the business problem. The RCA technique if correctly utilized provides the manager the capability to analyse a problem that adversely obstructed the running of the business and eradicate it when it is initially detected. It continuously improves the business performance and they can be repeatedly used to eradicate any possible threat to the business. Department of Health (2006) defined food safety as the warranty that food would be the basis for causing no harm to its clients on its preparation or consumption.
The team were gathered and was given a strong and specific escalation procedure ensuring that problem were treated immediately or else severe interruption can happen prior to response, that could jeopardised the organisation. The team was mandated to respond to the incidents with a clear and precise organisational procedure to use in order to assist in making decision which paternalistic management style (Mehrotra, 2005) was applied that everyone is involve in solving the problem. With no appropriate procedure, facts and evidences could be mishandled and poor problem solving could arise due to poor scrutiny of the incidents. Health and Safety Executive (HSE, 2003) stated that risk assessment is a significant phase in defending the employees and company, and conforming to the rules. It aids to emphasis on the hazards that exist in the company. HSE (2006) also cited that misfortunes and ill condition can cause devastation in lives and distress in the organisation if productivity is low, cost of insurance can increase or there would be a situation of a court case. Mckenna et. al (2006) highlighted the importance of having a distinct source of best practices and learning, an integrated information structure that assists companies hasten their action to cover the gaps in their technical capabilities, identify and expect difficulties, and evade making new solutions to new multiple projects. De Zoysa and Russell (2002) supported this by stating that practices that contributes by seizing and establishing risk management information for the past project and reutilize for future project, embrace substantial potential by developing a widespread but concrete method of practice in the industry.
During the course of the investigation, the staffs were so defensive and apprehensive in their reaction, so it was deemed to make a group workshop to analyse the incident. Each individual was given all the information to be able to uncover to the problem prior to the works. The brainstorming assembly began with a diagram of fishbone on the board. This was started with the body of the fish, line up with the probable causative factors and ended up at the head having the statement of the problem. The several causes run into the backbone which led to the cause (Nielsen, 2009). The next procedure was to categorize the activities that which could abolish the problem origin. This should meet the basic criteria of action wherein it focuses on clarifying the problem and the possibility how the team will implement the solution.
As a result of the investigation, it was noted that there was poor practice on food handling, poor staff awareness on the protocol of informing the management if their sickness was due to diarrhoea and vomiting, no established food monitoring temperature records was in place, absence of records for temperature monitoring of fridge temperature, and staff has no record of food hygiene training. There were shortfalls in the policies and procedures of the company which needed to be resolved. Universalism of Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) must be practices in the company in following the rules and regulations as Lizada (2007) cited the rules governing food safety as Republic Act No. 7394 (1992) or The Consumer Act of 1992 which provided the protection of consumer interests and general welfare, and establishes standards of conduct for business and industry. It further mandates the provision of information and education to empower the consumer to make sound choices and exercise his/her rights, including active participation in the formulation of relevant social and economic policies. This regulation explicitly safeguards the consumer against hazards to health and safety.
Even when a company have the greatest policies and procedures, management of risk would not thrive if it doesn’t encompass at an ethnic level. Individuals should exert effort in developing and preserving the utmost stages of awareness of risk. Management of risk is vital in the thinking process to infiltrates in all levels of the organisation.
Focusing ahead, the primary challenge is generating an ethos in which management of risk is the job of every individual and responsibility. Individuals employed within the company are inclined to obscure functional difficulties till they lose control. Typically, the collapse normally happens when a system in the allocated management of risk to precise persons or to managerial board that looks or perceive the simple projects as hard and difficult. Acceptable recording and omission from leadership is not enough to be an excuse. Corporation has the essential need to create a culture in the whole company that includes all employees, each role in all level have the ability and duty for risk management. It is vital to make pre-emptive measures and awareness after the incident to prevent recurrent situation in the long-run as stated in Hofstede (2001) long term orientation and sequential time of Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006).
In a world of mixed oriented culture of western and eastern influence (Drucken, 2007) with hierarchical form of management style is being followed in accordance to Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) power distance and achievement ascription by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) is a different set of individuals with different motives and interest in life is very important aspect to consider each one of them in a business operation. A simple incident could have been disclosed and talk about in a humane manner but the urge to use court to mediate conflict as one indication in the universalism of Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) and strong individualistic traits of “I” am more important than them whose societal bond is loose as stated in individualism of both dimensions by Hofstede (2001) and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (2006) is somehow detrimental to the business entity if not taken into consideration and acted upon. But because collectivism (Hofstede, 2001) and particularism (Trompenaars and Hampden-Tuner, 2006) is dominant to the business practice the only thing to maintain its dignity and business reputation to the public and not lose face as pointed in uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede,2001) and diffuse (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2006) is to apologise and comply with due process to alleviate the situation. All the more, there is so much to learn in different angles of life, to people in particular especially to the different values, attitude and ethics of each individual in different country which brings meaning because of this study in cultural dimensions. (Rodell, 2002) It is innate to Filipinos to be hospitable, respectful, obedient and hardworking etc. but behind those admirable traits and aspiration lies a bunch of unnecessary behaviours in appropriate to the business and in the eyes of everyone.
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