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  • 1. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) Author F. Landa Jocano is an anthropologist, educator and moderator of several studies about the Philippines. From Iloilo and educated at the University of Chicago, F. Landa Jocano was described by National Artist F. Sionil Jose as, “the country’s first and foremost cultural anthropologist.” The highly revered author served as Professor Emeritus at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines. He was also recognized for his Core Population Theory as an explanation of Filipino migration, he summarized, “discrete waves of migration is but a long process of cultural evolution and movement of people.”1 Management by Culture had its revised edition in 1999 published by Punlad Research House, Inc. Former President Fidel V. Ramos said, “The culture of selflessness, be it in time of crisis or normalcy, is the core value that unifies a nation.”2 The book Management by Culture tries to harmonize Western style of Management and acceptable leadership styles for the Filipinos. This required reading of five chapters has been able to: • expose contemporary analysis of management, leadership, communication and culture in reference to Management by Objectives (MBO)3 • explore deeper into the structural being of the Filipinos who work for foreign managers in an environment that is multinational But why is there a need to study this? The answer is globalization. World economy has opened its doors to influx of high-end products, sophisticated services and highly technical talents. The cellular phone you might be using may have a European name but may have been manufactured in several provinces in China and India. GLOBALIZATION Therefore, what then is globalization in the context of Jocano’s Management by Culture? This question is rightfully answered by Philip Hancock and Andre Spicer (2009), “Globalization has created new forms of interdependency that are based on global scales of interaction. Firms are restructuring their supply chains and in doing so they link together different parts of the world in a precarious and time-limited coordination process, mixing market, hierarchy and network forms of control. These processes create new forms of interdependencies for employees getting locked into global time and locked out of local time and culture.”4 Just try to imagine common workplace situations where one Filipino accountant tries to process the accounts payable documents from a technical manager based in the UK, or how about a Filipino hardware engineer trying to instruct one customer based in Belgium who can’t make his brand new tablet work, or, how about a Filipino ticketing specialist taking the details of a Korean tourist who will be flying using Lufthansa. These and a lot more are now just staple fare for the call center or BPO workers. This reporter has been with the industry during its infancy stage, and has built two centers (Makati and Clark) and worked with a major US player grow into a headcount of 30,000. Throughout this reporter’s over a decade in the BPO industry, he has been trained to lead subordinates using western management style. The result has been both fruitful and painful. Fruitful since the objectives of the mother company (principal) has been served and the business 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Landa_Jocano 2 Page 115. Ramos F.V. 1997. Leadership for the 21st Century. 3 Page 8. Jocano, F. L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 4 Page 105. Hancock P. and Spicer A. Understanding Corporate Life. SAGE Pub. 2009. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 1 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 2. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) unit continued to prosper. While there were incidents (especially during the US economic recession in 2008), despite of stringent operational and financial measures, business objectives were just not met resulting to employees, including this reporter, receive redundancy notices. WORLD EXECUTIVE DIGEST In tackling this issue, “Will western management work in Asia?” The July 1984 edition of World Executive’s Digest has reported William Newman’s view: Values and attitudes affect but do not invalidate the transfer of American management concepts. Consequently, when we wish to transfer an effective device from one culture to another, careful attention should be given to underlying premises.”5 These words are not disputed by Jocano in 1999, and he further engages his readers on how, “managers and supervisors overlook the fact that management is not all business; it is also a social and cultural encounter. It deals largely with human behaviour: relationships among superiors, peers and subordinates.”6 Anthropologist F. L. Jocano further resolves that, “the challenge to contemporary management leadership is not only to integrate each unit objectives into a unified corporate goal but also to level the cultural differences of the people recruited to run the enterprise and to mold these differences into one collective sentiment supportive of corporate goals.”7 HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW Seven years after, the Harvard Business Review in its November 2006 edition posits, “Multicultural teams often generate frustrating management dilemmas. Cultural differences can create substantial obstacles to effective teamwork—but these may be subtle and difficult to recognize until significant damage has already been done. The challenge in managing multicultural teams effectively is to recognize underlying cultural causes of conflict, and to intervene in ways that both get the team back on track and empower its members to deal with future challenges themselves.”8 This milieu confirms the assertion made by professor emeritus F. L. Jocano, “people’s cultural values and value orientations are important variables in communicating to and in motivating them to peak performance. In the Philippines, it would be better to use traditional values as points of departure in communicating management principles to the workers. Foreign techniques may be academically attractive, but they seldom are suited to Filipino cultural temperament.”9 HECHANOVA and FRANCOS 5 Newman, W. Will Western Management Work in Asia? World Executive Digest. July 1984. 6 Page 7. Jocano, F. L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 7 Page 14. Jocano, F. L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 8 Page 1. Jeanne Brett, Kristin Behfar and Mary Kern. Harvard Business Review, November 2006 issue. 9 Page 17. Jocano, F.L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 2 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 3. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) Furthermore, this reporter looked into the works of Regina Hechanova and Edna Franco (2005) and Ernesto Franco (1988) to get a clearer picture on who is the Filipino Worker and why is there a need to understand his culture to be managed effectively? Regina Hechanova and Edna Franco revealed the following10 : 1. 99% of the World Values Survey says that family is very important. 2. 88% of the 1997 Work Orientation Survey says, “Work is seen as a person’s most important activity.” 3. Work is a venue for individual growth. 4. Good pay is ranked number 1 among the top 10 choices on what Filipinos look for in a job (Top 3: good pay, job security and meet one’s abilities). 5. Filipinos are generally happy and level of happiness is correlated with income and financial condition. F. L. Jocano totally supports that ‘family is very important among Filipinos.” “The family constitutes the core unit of the Filipino social system. The central concern of every Filipino is the welfare of the family since it is the only secure place in this fragile world of social realities. It is the source of economic, social and psychological supports for all its members.”11 Moreover, Management in the Philippine Setting editor Ernesto Franco enumerated five Filipino Management Styles12 : 1. Manager by “Kayod.” Manages by letting everyone, including the manager, work hard. Is perceived to be highly dedicated but communicates in a formal manner and tends to be an introvert. 2. Manager by “Lusot.” Manages by creating shortcuts or unconventional systems. 3. Manager by “Libro.” Manages in a systematic, thorough and analytical manner. Has more than adequate management education, thereby using lessons learned from textbooks and applying them on the floor. 4. Manager by “Oido.” Manages by how things are learned by sense of hearing. Lacks formal management training but has vast operational exposure and hands-on technical experience. 5. Manager by “Ugnayan.” Manages according to the present environmental condition or business situation. Yearns for participation and coordination among other members of the team. In contrast, this reporter uses the Path- Goal theory of leadership, a mainstream western management style that has four behaviours13 and systems of communication from the Harvard Business Review: PATH- GOAL LEADERSHIP 10 Page 6. Hechanova, R. and Franco, E. The Way We Work. Ateneo de Manila Press, QC. 2005. 11 Page 30. Jocano, F.L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 12 Page 272. Franco E.A. Management in the Philippine Setting. National Bookstore. 1988 13 Pages 266- 267. Yukl G. Leadership in Organizations. Prentice- Hall, Inc. 1998 Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 3 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 4. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) 1. Supportive leadership. Giving consideration to the needs of subordinates. Displaying concern over their welfare, and creating a friendly climate in the work unit. 2. Directive leadership. Communicating expectations and providing guidance on subordinates (follow rules and procedures, schedules and work assignments). 3. Participative leadership. Consulting and taking the opinions and suggestions of subordinates. 4. Achievement- oriented leadership. Setting challenging goals, seeking performance improvements, emphasizing excellence in performance and showing confidence that subordinates can deliver. HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW “Communication in Western cultures is typically direct and explicit. The meaning is on the surface, and a listener doesn’t have to know much about the context or the speaker to interpret it. This is not true in many other cultures, where meaning is embedded in the way the message is presented. For example, Western negotiators get crucial information about the other party’s preferences and priorities by asking direct questions, such as “Do you prefer option A or option B?” In cultures that use indirect communication, negotiators may have to infer preferences and priorities from changes—or the lack of them—in the other party’s settlement proposal. In cross- cultural negotiations, the non-Westerner can understand the direct communications of the Westerner, but the Westerner has difficulty understanding the indirect communications of the non-Westerner.”14 On page 50, Jocano emphasized, “to be direct is to be considered rude; to be uncaringly rude is to violate the norm of delicadeza or propriety.”15 He therefore provided three core elements of social organization that provide Filipinos with proper contexts for organizing their ideas, defining their needs, interpreting their experiences, passing judgments and guiding their behaviour16 : 1. Personalism. Degree of emphasis Filipinos give to interpersonal relations or to face-to- face encounters. The strong desired to be counted and part of a collectivity. 2. Paternalism. Refers to concerned leadership or right way of leading. Moral base of leadership and followership where it can be viewed as leadership by example. 3. Familism. Is about group spirit and equal treatment, like how parents discipline their children. Jocano further explains the effective style of communication among Filipinos17 : • Step 1: Pahiwatig (to hint or to suggest) • Step 2: Pabatid (to make conscious) • Step 3: Pahayag (to state openly) 14 Page 6. Jeanne Brett, Kristin Behfar and Mary Kern. Harvard Business Review, November, 2006. 15 Pages 50. Jocano, F. L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 16 Pages 36- 42. Jocano, F.L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. 17 Pages 49- 55. Jocano, F. L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 1999. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 4 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 5. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) Astrid Kainzbauer (2010) agrees with Jocano’s point of view, as he shared on his Perplexity in Southeast Asia: De-perplexing the expat, “In Asia, people who are aggressive or confrontational are seen as unsophisticated. Asia stress harmony as a social virtue. For the western manager, the Asian notion of desiring harmony is often seen as avoiding critical evaluation. In Asia, differences of opinion lead individuals to seek compromise. People consider that to address the differing opinions openly would be seen as unfair and may lead to anger. To preclude social embarrassment, contrary opinions are kept to oneself and public discussion is avoided.”18 Coming from the separate views of Franco, Yukl and Harvard Business Review, it is pretty clear that there can be a point of convergence especially if interventions and programs are designed to specifically bridge harmony. Expectations from both parties, by way of job descriptions, performance metrics, corporate values, process on problem-solving and decision- making, etc., are judiciously defined in order to reach deeper understanding. Neville Bain (1995) fairly adds a provocative point of view, “There is an advantage for the international company that is able to build the skills that enable it to work harmoniously and productively in many different countries each with a different dimension of culture. For a company to outperform its competition there is a need to establish and develop the core competence of empathy and understanding in these very different circumstances. It is an asset to be able to recognize difference in cultures and to use this understanding to further corporation’s goals.”19 Finally, Mike Reed’s (1989) Political Perspective to explain management has this interesting statement and emphasis is to be observed on the point about power, “social process geared to the regulation of interest group conflict in an environment characterized by considerable uncertainty over the criteria through which organizational performance is assessed.”20 Further, “it reconceptualises management as consisting of a plurality of competing groups or coalitions that often come into conflict over decisions concerning the choice of organizational designs and temporarily resolve this disagreement through the exercise of power.”21 F. Landa Jocano reminds his readers in general and professional managers in particular that management is not all about business but it is also “a social and cultural encounter,”22 where “it deals largely with human behaviour: relationships among superiors, peers and subordinates.”23 He further asserts that culture plays a huge role in motivating people to peak performance and in making the right choices when conflict arises or strategic business decisions have to be made. The importance of culture is predicated on “the form of things that people have in mind, their models for perceiving, relating, and interpreting them. An explanatory definition says culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments 18 Page 348. Lowe S. Managing in Changing Times. SAGE Pub. 2010 19 Page 192. Bain N. Successful Management. Macmillan Business. 1995 20 Page 6. Reed, M. The Sociology of Management. Harvester Wheatsheaf 1989 21 Ibid. 22 Page 7. Jocano, F. Landa. 1999. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 23 Ibid. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 5 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 6. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action (Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1967).”24 “Filipino worker is generally a happy, family-oriented individual who values work that will provide both economic rewards and growth.”25 The world has seen how efficient and effective the OFWs are. Countries in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia have witnessed the level of quality and dedication of the Filipinos. Yet, western managers must seriously realize that success or failure of business relationships and management strategies is reliant on the elements of culture in the environment where the principal functions. Management by Culture gives utmost prominence to and respect for the power of culture on human behaviour and energizes managers to use patterns of thinking, believing, feeling and doing things to increase corporate success. REFERENCES 1. Bain, N. Successful Management. Macmillan Business. 1995. 2. Brett J., Behfar K., Kern, M. Multicultural Management. Harvard Business Review. Nov. 2006. 3. Franco, E.A. Management in the Philippine Setting. National Bookstore. 1998. 4. Hancock, P. and Spicer, A. Understanding Corporate Life. SAGE Pub. 2009. 5. Hechanova, R. and Franco, E. The Way we Work. Ateneo de Manila Press. 2005. 6. Jocano, F L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 2007. 7. Lowe, S. Managing In Changing Times. SAGE Pub. 2010. 8. Ramos, F.V. Leadership for the 21st Century. Friends of Steady Eddie. 1997. 9. Reed, M. The Sociology of Management. Harvester Wheatsheaf. 1989. 10. Recto, N. G. and Dungo, N. G. Organizational Culture and Symbolism in the Philippines. Asian Center, University of the Philippines. 2008. 11. Schedler, K and Proeller, I. Public Management as Cultural Phenomenon. International Public Management Review. Vol. 8. Issue 1. 2007. 12. Yukl G. Leadership in Organizations. Prentice- Hall, Inc. 1998. 24 Page 187. K Schedler and IProeller. Public Management as a Cultural Phenomenon. International Public Management Review. Vol. 8. Issue 1, 2007. 25 Page 16. Hechanova, R. and Franco, E. The Way We Work. Ateneo de Manila Press, QC. 2005. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 6 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO
  • 7. REACTION PAPER: MANAGEMENT BY CULTURE by F. LANDA JOCANO (1999) in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action (Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1967).”24 “Filipino worker is generally a happy, family-oriented individual who values work that will provide both economic rewards and growth.”25 The world has seen how efficient and effective the OFWs are. Countries in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia have witnessed the level of quality and dedication of the Filipinos. Yet, western managers must seriously realize that success or failure of business relationships and management strategies is reliant on the elements of culture in the environment where the principal functions. Management by Culture gives utmost prominence to and respect for the power of culture on human behaviour and energizes managers to use patterns of thinking, believing, feeling and doing things to increase corporate success. REFERENCES 1. Bain, N. Successful Management. Macmillan Business. 1995. 2. Brett J., Behfar K., Kern, M. Multicultural Management. Harvard Business Review. Nov. 2006. 3. Franco, E.A. Management in the Philippine Setting. National Bookstore. 1998. 4. Hancock, P. and Spicer, A. Understanding Corporate Life. SAGE Pub. 2009. 5. Hechanova, R. and Franco, E. The Way we Work. Ateneo de Manila Press. 2005. 6. Jocano, F L. Management by Culture. Manila: Punlad. 2007. 7. Lowe, S. Managing In Changing Times. SAGE Pub. 2010. 8. Ramos, F.V. Leadership for the 21st Century. Friends of Steady Eddie. 1997. 9. Reed, M. The Sociology of Management. Harvester Wheatsheaf. 1989. 10. Recto, N. G. and Dungo, N. G. Organizational Culture and Symbolism in the Philippines. Asian Center, University of the Philippines. 2008. 11. Schedler, K and Proeller, I. Public Management as Cultural Phenomenon. International Public Management Review. Vol. 8. Issue 1. 2007. 12. Yukl G. Leadership in Organizations. Prentice- Hall, Inc. 1998. 24 Page 187. K Schedler and IProeller. Public Management as a Cultural Phenomenon. International Public Management Review. Vol. 8. Issue 1, 2007. 25 Page 16. Hechanova, R. and Franco, E. The Way We Work. Ateneo de Manila Press, QC. 2005. Alfredo V. Primicias III | IR 202- Organization and Work Page 6 Sats. 9am- 12nn | class of Prof. TOLENTINO