It is common for even the most flexible of people to endure a period of
stress on their first expatriate posting in an unfamiliar country. Culture
shock is the common name of the psychological affliction that results when people
become anxious and confused in a strange environment with different
customs and beliefs than their own. They experience homesickness,
depression, irritability and frustration during an extended period of
This condition is the primary cause of expatriate
failure. On-the-job performance can be dramatically reduced or the
posting can be abandoned altogether.
The process of adjusting from a so-called advanced country to an
emerging one is considered more traumatic that moving from one rich
country to another. Moving from Germany to France is not as big a deal
as moving from Sweden to Bangladesh, in other words.
Gladly, the emerging countries of Southeast Asia have come a long way
over the years and the main cities where most expatriates live often
appear like mini-developed countries. That said, there are acute and
deep-seated differences that will cause emotional trauma to many new
4 to 6 weeks (depending on the individual)
In the Honeymoon phase, expatriates are excited to be in the new
country and fascinated by its sights and sounds. Most expatriates
relocating to emerging countries in Southeast Asia will experience a
relative increase in status and standard of living. They will probably
have household servants and personal drivers for the first time. As
well, employers usually fund a portion of expatriates’ living
costs so they feel wealthier than in their home countries.
For these reasons and others, expatriates feel good about themselves
and their family situation in this first brief period of
Period Lasting: 6 to 8 months (depending on the individual)
Within a month or so of arrival, the honeymoon phase ends and
expatriates quickly begin to comprehend the magnitude of the barriers
they face to doing their jobs. They discover that methods used
successfully over their entire careers are either worthless or even
destructive in another cultural environment. The result is expatriate managers who are severely emotionally distressed and ineffective at their jobs.
And then it gets worse. When expatriates arrive home from their hard
days at the office, they are usually faced with family members who are
as traumatized than they are. And, each one is expecting to be
saved by the person who is responsible for bringing them to the strange
The combination of severe adjustments at both work and home results is
classic culture shock symptoms: frustration, anger, confusion, distust of
others, etc., etc.
Period Lasting: 1 to 2 years (depending on the individual)
During this phase, expatriates slowly regain their self-confidence and
effectiveness in a steady but difficult process. Through trial and
error, and by building relationships with experienced expatriates and
helpful local people, they gradually come to understand the need to
adapt themselves to the local culture before trying to manage it.
Expatriates eventually come to appreciate local language, cuisine and
Period: 2 to 4 years from start of posting (depending on the individual)
Basic Competence in the practices of business in any country takes
years. This is especially so in emerging countries where the rules of
the game are not clearly stated or fixed, and very dependant on the
vagaries of personal relationships. Despite the challenges, most
expatriates are able to develop functional proficiency in the local
environment within a couple of years from relocation.
Period: 5 to 7 years from start of posting (depending on the individual)
For expatriate leaders to make substantial and sustainable progress,
they generally need strong relationships with people in positions of
influence within their own organizations and outside of it. This
requires a lot of time. Various studies and experience has shown that
at least 5 to 7 years are necessary to develop deep appreciation of the
country and its opportunities.
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& Management Consulting:
Associates provides its Executive Search and Recruiting services throughout the emerging countries of the Asia Pacific
region with specific focus on Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos.
proactive and well known in our sectors of focus. Regional
Managers use us to help bridge the gap between local environments and
the world-class requirements of multinational corporations.
o n t a c t U s
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CEO Forum presented by PLDT ALPHA Enterprise is the largest
regular business event in Philippines and considered one of the
most important in the Southeast Asia region. The forum serves as a
hub for the spreading of ideas that help executive managers
overseeing enterprises across the Asia Pacific region.
Attendees are both expatriate and Asian management personnel
overseeing multinational and regional organizations. Held in
Philippines, presenters are leaders in their industries and
engaged in momentous pursuits of significance to the entire
CEO Forum is operated as a CSR (Corporate Social
Responsibility) activity of Chalre Associates, one of Southeast
Asia's most prominent senior management executive search firms, to
promote Philippines as a premier business destination in the Asia
Here to go to Asia
CEO Forum now!
CEO Awards presented by Aseana City represents the
grandest alliance of local and international business people ever
created to promote Philippines on the world stage. As one of the
largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, it is
considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in
The star-studded Board of Judges of Asia CEO Awards give
away 10 awards to many of the most accomplished leadership teams
and individuals currently operating in Philippines and the region.
The awards recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated
outstanding achievement for their organizations and contributions
As one of the fastest growing nations on the planet, the world's
business leaders have their eyes on Philippines like never before.
The annual gala was established as a natural outgrowth of Asia
CEO Forum, the largest regular networking event for the
business community in Philippines.
to go to Asia
CEO Awards now!
throughout the world call upon the Principals of Chalre Associates for thought leadership.
Below are some examples of published material written by our
consultants or international journalists who refer to them. For a complete list of published work,
Getting Ready For The
Deluge: Outsourcing in Philippines
Chalre Associates senior staff
Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist magazine
asked Chalre Associates' Chairman, Richard Mills,
to write a chapter about the Philippine outsourcing sector
in its annual Business Guide Book. The material
provides a Executive Briefing on the progress and major
issues facing this industry that is certainly one of most
significant growth stories in the world.
Asia Pacific Mining
Conference 2007 - Report
Chalre Associates senior staff
The 7th Asia Pacific Mining Conference put on by the Asean
Federation of Mining Associations was perhaps the largest
such event in the region. Richard Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates
gave this report on what was said by the prominent mining
people who presented.
State of BPO in Philippines: Dan Reyes Speaks
Chalre Associates senior staff
Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates,
interviewed Dan Reyes of Sitel for ComputerWorld (US) recently to get
his views on the state of the BPO industry in Philippines. Dan
presented US readers with compelling information to support his view
that Philippines is currently seen as the "Number 1" option by global
companies sending BPO work to offshore destinations.
Dan Reyes is easily one of most experienced Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) managers in the Asia Pacific region and the world. He
is head of the extremely successful Philippine operations of Sitel, the
world's largest call center organization. Among other things, he is a
founder and former president of the Business Processing Association of
the Philippines. more