Evolution of Power Distance in Russia

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 563
  • Published : January 26, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The Evolution of Power Distance in Russia

Several authors such as Hofstede, Shwarz and Trompenaars investigated the characteristics of power distribution in different societies, each with their own accents. Hofstede uses the criteria of power distance. It describes to what extend a countries population accepts that power in organisations and institutions is unquelly divided. In other words ; is the power distribution mainly based on vertical or horizontal relationships? (Nardon & Steers, 2006 ; Robins, Judge & Campbell, 2011)

In countries with a high Power Distance Index (PDI) the population seems to accept that there is a high inequality of power distribution. The use of that power is not necessarily abussive. The population actually believes that the inequality will produce more welfare for it's society (Nardon & Steers, 2006). A good example of a high inequality acceptance can be found in ancient Rome : The senate used to transfer it's authorities to a dictator when war was to be expected because Romans believed that one strong person was more fit to rule in times of crisis. The population of countries with a low PDI rather expect a more egalitarian and participative distribution of power. They expect to be consulted on various key issues that affect them in a substantial way. E.g. : Ireland (PDI : 23) held a referendum to decide whether to approve the European Lisbon-Treaty.

Hofstede originally estimated that Russia had a PDI of 95. This put Russia in the top three among 53 countries that had been investigated. (Hofstede, 1993) Taking the countries previous historical evolution into account, this high number doesn't seem that surprising. Russia has a long tradition of centralisation of authority and authoritarian leadership. The pre-Revolutionary period was characterised by a lack of democratic structures and a strong centralization in the hands of the state wich resulted in a relatively high level of unequal distribution of power....
tracking img