The business philosophy, management style, and growth strategies of Henry Sy, Jr.: A case study

Added Title

Management style and business strategies of Henry Sy: a case study.

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Management and Organization Department

Thesis Adviser

Victor S. Limlingan

Defense Panel Chair

Emanuel V. Soriano

Defense Panel Member

Andrew B. Gonzalez, FSC
Isidro Carino
Peter O'Brien


This study is a documentation of Henry Sy's enterprises, their growth, and the critical factors responsible for such growth. It also tests the S. Gordon Redding and Victor Limlingan theories, using the case of the Sy enterprises.The business philosophy, business career, management style, and business and growth strategies of Henry Sy were presented through interviews and survey questions conducted with Sy himself and his associates, competitors, friends, and family members on a best effort basis. Secondary data obtained from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the companies themselves, the libraries and articles in periodicals were used to document all his business interests and their organizational structures. Management style and organizational climate at work in his organizations were observed.Based on the study, the following conclusions were made:1. The Sy enterprises, numbering 29 and being in varied fields, with assets of P23B, are clearly a conglomerate.2. The Sy enterprises or the SM Group of Companies, is not a typical Chinese family business.3. The Sy enterprises fall partly under each of the two other categories described by Redding, a atypical ones--one, and industry where the dominant executive can still effectively function, and, two, a conglomerate that is grafted on professional management where the entrepreneurial thinking is retained by the family.
4. Contrary to Redding's theory--that if is not a typical Chinese family business, then the business must be an industry where the dominant executive still effectively functions, or it must be a conglomerate grafted on professional management where the strategic entrepreneurial thinking is retained by the family--the Sy enterprises is a case of a conglomerate that has a dominant executive, and at the same time, grafted on professional management where the strategic entrepreneurial thinking is retained by the family.5. Contrary to Redding's theory that a dominant Chinese executive in the family business is a limiting factor to business growth, such does not seem to hold true in the case of SM Group of Companies.6. Limlingan's theory that Chinese family businesses can grow large and complex, without yielding family control, as in the Thai and Indonesian cases cited in his work, is bolstered by the Philippine case of Sy.7. Redding's observation on Overseas Chinese for the past 30 years, on the limits of growth level of Chinese businesses, held true for those past 30 years. However, a number of businessmen in Southeast Asia have now started to grow beyond the usual levels, even remaining dominant executives in control of their conglomerates and8. A shift in Chinese business paradigm is currently highly taking place.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

220 numb. leaves; Computer print-out +; 1 dissertation proposal


Business--Case studies; Businessmen, Chinese; Management--Case studies

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