Cultural Differences - The Power Distance Relationship
Power distance as a characteristic of a culture defines the extent to which the less powerful person in society accepts inequality in power and considers it as normal. Put simply, people in some cultures accept a higher degree of unequally distributed power than do people in other cultures. In high-power-distance cultures, power is concentrated in the hands of a few and there is a great difference between those with and those without power. In low-power-distance cultures, the power is more equally shared throughout the citizen. People in high distance countries such as India ,Africa, Brazil, Singapore, Greece, Venezuela, Mexico and the Philipines believe that power and authority are facts of life. Both consciously and unconsciously, these cultures teach their members that people are not equal in this world and that everybody has a rightful place, which is clearly marked by countless vertical arrangements. Social hierarchy is prevalent and institutionalises that inequality. In high power distance countries and organizations, people don't question the decisions of their leaders. Leader/subordinate relationships are not close and leaders are expected to earn more money and respect. Leaders are therefore expected to resolve disputes as well as make all the difficult decisions. Subordinates will simply comply with their leader rather than challenge him or her or try to arrive at their own solutions in dealing with conflict. Subordinates expect to have their jobs and responsibilities dictated to them, and in some cases, will not articulate disagreement with authority for fear of the consequences for stirring up conflict.
On the other hand, in lower power distance countries such as Austria, Finland, Denmark, Norway, the United States, New Zealand, Israel . Low power distance organizations are looser, decentralized hierarchies, where employees or subordinates are considered equal, or nearly equal....
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