Culture Affinity: Is it Necessary in Offshoring?

  • July 14, 2011
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By: Roy Jonathan del Rosario

Yes, culture affinity is a strong factor considered by transnational companies in choosing a destination that would best upsurge their capability on achieving the same or better quality of workforce they have in their own country, only that they have better income generation here because of low employment cost.

India and the Philippines are the two leading offshore destinations in Asia as of now due to the strong workforce the two nations produce and the quality of staff they have. Also important to note, Cultural affinity is another vital factor to the offshoring transnational companies to be able to hire workers with well-grasped alignment with the customs their hiring companies have.

Good examples of this are the cultural alignment of Philippines and India with their respective offshoring companies. As what was carved on the pages of the Philippine history, Philippines has been under the ruling of the Americans for quite a long period. With this, Filipinos have learned and acquired the way western people live, think, work and talk. Because of these clear facts, American companies are comfortable that the Philippines is the best choice among all the Asian countries in terms of English proficiency, attitude towards work and of course, close cultural affinity. They believe that with these characteristics, Filipinos could confidently deal with the transnational clients which mostly are Americans.

Another good example is the Indians’ close cultural affinity with the British people. During the long existence of British occupation in their land, they were exposed to Britain’s culture and infrastructure that is why Indians have a very well-built and strong infrastructure. In the outsourcing jargon, it is referred to as “virtual collocation” or crucially having teams from several areas working for a common goal.

Working with several teams from numerous countries means communication does not only takes place on an individual level but on a CULTURAL level as well. In the outsourcing industry, culture upholds implications more intricate than simple difference in verbal communication or time zone. And culture is a vast and critical factor to be taken into account by transnational outsourcers because culture is something no software can absolutely address.


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