Sunday, October 5, 2008

Foreign managers in Thailand should lead by example

Foreigners can lead by example


Foreign businesses should help Thailand to improve business practices by serving as role models in doing business based on human skills, according to Pamela Hongsakul, managing director of Hongsakul Media Ltd.

Pamela: Thai people need to stand up

Mrs Pamela, the publisher of Law Magazine, said in a presentation to the British Chamber of Commerce that Thai society, whether in politics or business, recruited people based on friendships and connections rather than based on skill or value to company and country.

Foreign business leaders should help change this practice by serving as role models in their own companies. "Show the Thai people how this is done," said Ms Pamela, a cross-cultural observer who works with key leaders in the media and marketing fields.

She also said that foreign firms should be encouraged to run their businesses in Thailand in the same way they would do in their own home countries, including following the rules and avoiding discrimination.

Thailand's business sector was not competitive in the global market, she said, because leaders did not challenge staff to overcome sabai-sabai tendencies.

"Thai people have got used to relaxing under coconut trees and enjoying plenty of water, fish and sun," she said.

The first thing to be done, she suggested, was to get rid of the culture of fear in the society. Thai people are afraid to stand up and state their needs to people in authority since they are afraid of losing their pleasure.

"We should adopt more principles and not focus on the point of reward," she said.

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