Initial Results from PCIST Pilot Study
A study was conducted with 140 participants from the Pasig Institute of Science and Technology (PCIST) while the group was asked to join an orientation program about the Japanese organizational culture and later fill in a questionnaire based on the Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory.
The purpose of this study was to have a basic understanding about the personality, character, desires, commitment and knowledge of trainees and graduates of a TESDA-accredited tech voc school. Although the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory was used to conduct the first pilot study and understand participant’s commitment and desires, the purpose is to drop such cultural dimensions or treat them for something better in following studies after there is a better understanding.
Figure 1 shows the results from the pilot study based on Hofstede’s dimensions.
In terms of power distance, the pilot study suggests that the Filipino/Filipina participants are actually much closer to the Japanese mentality, that they are conscious about their own position in the society but desire more justice and equality that is already a common practice at the Japanese organizations.
In terms of individuality, the pilot study suggests that the Filipino/Filipina participants are actually very individualistic and keen to show their personal capabilities to contribute into the Japanese society. During the interview, almost all of the participants show both a highly individualistic to prove themselves in a foreign work environment suggesting language and culture barriers as a challenge. This is an important aspect to analyze in future study cycles if we should either (a) enforce the idea that the study group should give up their individualistic behavior as it would not be tolerated within the collective Japanese society or (b) make use of such individualistic behavior to improve our current organizational practice.
In terms of masculinity, the participants of the study group show a great desire to work for a Japanese company. 96.4% of the participants answered that they would like to work in Japan while 42.1% of the participants replied that they would only want to work for a Japanese company if they ever go to overseas. Furthermore, although 54.4% of the total participants answered that their primary reason to work in Japan would be to support their family, 88.3% of total participants named “discipline and hard-work” as another primary driver to work in Japan, while interviews showed that there is no trust toward Filipino companies for a successful career development and money earning opportunity among the participants.
In terms of uncertainty avoidance, the study group shows a much higher score with the promise to adapt to the Japanese practice and suggests another action cycle opportunity to analyze how much uncertainty could be tolerated (by the help of skilled immigrant workers) to increase the capabilities of our organizational practice by transforming from an inductive to a deductive approach.
In terms of long-term orientation, although the Hofstede model argues that the Philippines is a normative society, the results from the pilot study group shows that the participants are more likely members of a pragmatic society, where people believe that truth depends very much on the situation, context and time. The interviews also suggest that the participants are very much willing and capable to adapt into any culture and organization as longs as they are treated well and fairly.
According to the Hofstede model of cultural dimensions, the argument is that Japan and the Philippines are different countries with opposite approaches to problems and organizational practice.
However, the results from the study group shows that in fact Japan and the Philippines are actually much more similar than argued by Hofstede (2019) in terms of power distance, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation as shown in Figure 7. This is an important aspect to apply in further action cycles within our organization with the assumption that the Filipino/Filipina skilled workers could easily adapt into our current organizational practice and maybe improve our practice with skills and experience they could bring from their own country.
Moreover, the same figure shows that the study group has a high individuality and lower masculinity score, which suggests additional opportunities to develop future action cycles and if we could profit from these differences in order to increase our own organizational practice.
Hofstede, G. (2019) “Hofstede Country Comparison”, Hofstede Insights Online