When West Meets East: Outsourcing Services and the Corporate Cultural Gap

Corporations must anticipate team members who can’t see eye to eye, especially if this involves international teams in the BPO industry. Physical, social, and cultural barriers must be considered and managed when outsourcing services. Though the physical barriers are easily bridged through ever-evolving technologies, some social and cultural barriers within the workspace can just as easily be overlooked.

The corporate culture varies between locations, and with it comes differences in how goals are met, how company values are represented, and how employees interact. When you compare the West’s corporate culture to the East, the American and European cultures focus on end results, while Asian cultures are heavily influenced by local values and traditions (e.g. hospitality, loyalty, etc). This is why it’s important for both parties to understand each other’s corporate culture, mind the gaps that could hinder a project’s success.

Philippine Culture Primed for BPO Industries

For example, the Philippine BPO industry has grown significantly since its start in the ‘90s, because of certain social, cultural, and corporate values upheld. Their natural affinity to the Western culture helps them better understand cultural references, slang, and the like; with this comes their proficiency in the English language, both oral and written. It also helps that Filipinos have a strong sense of camaraderie, empathy, and diligence that enables them to meet their goals effectively and efficiently.

Gaining an understanding of these factors help parent companies plan for successful outsourcing services. Proper communication, then, plays a vital role in the success of a smooth and productive workforce. Expectations should be clearly laid out, roles (and expectations) must be properly understood, and measurements for productivity should also be clearly explained. It also helps to create positive interpersonal relationships between both parent and offshore teams to boost morale and to encourage smooth operations.

Outsourcing Services Improve Operations

Most internal operations can be improved with outsourcing services, so it’s important your company is synched to outsourced teams. Corporate cultures may differ, and embracing this is your best response. The bottom line of outsourcing is results, efficiently achieved.

Outsourcing business functions is the better way, and it’s easier once the gap between corporate cultures is bridged. There’s a reason why outsourcing service is concentrated on the east: cultures here are relational, yet professional. Your business benefits because it can focus on the big picture, while teams dedicated to deliver do the legwork.

Elsewhere on this blog:

5 Key Reasons to Outsource Administrative Support

Should You Outsource Your Customer Service?

Outsourcing Is Not Just for Big Businesses


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