Power Distance

1986 Words8 Pages
Introduction: In 1980, Social psychologist Greet Hofstede has developed “Cultural Dimension Theory” using the huge data collected from 117,000 IBM employees during 1967 to 1973. He has first focused on 40 largest countries and then extended his research to 50 countries and 3 regions. This initial analysis identified systematic differences in national cultures on four primary dimensions: power distance (PDI), individualism (IDV), uncertainty avoidance (UAI) and masculinity (MAS), which are described below. As Hofstede explains on his academic website, these dimensions regard “four anthropological problem areas that different national societies handle differently: ways of coping with inequality, ways of coping with uncertainty, the…show more content…
. Liberal democracies are the norm. . Societies lean more towards egalitarianism. For example, Germany has a 35 on the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis. Compared to Arab countries where the power distance is very high (80) and Austria where it very low (11), Germany is somewhat in the middle. Germany does not have a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, but have a strong belief in equality for each citizen. Germans have the opportunity to rise in society. On the other hand, the power distance in the United States scores a 40 on the cultural scale. The United States exhibits a more unequal distribution of wealth compared to German society. As the years go by it seems that the distance between the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ grows larger and larger. Applications: Cross Cultural Communication In today’s globalised era, Communication is a prime concerns for the organizations. Deep understanding of the Power Distance Position of the country can help us design our communications with the people in that country. We can modify our Verbal (tone, speech and words) as well as Non verbal (gestures, eye contact) aspect of the communication according to the country in which we are operating. For Example: While some western cultures perceive direct eye contact as a positive trait. Children are encouraged to look the person addressing them in the eye. However, in a country as diverse as the USA, that is not a universal truth.
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