Power distance

Power distance, a concept presented by Hofstede, refers to “the extent to which the less powerful members within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally”. The power distance could be found in the associations, families, fellowships, and organizations and it differs from culture to culture. The types of power distance are categorized as being “high” or “low”. High power distance means that few people on the top of a society hold a lot of power which is more or less accepted by others. Individuals in social orders showing a high degree of power distance acknowledge a higher hierarchy order in which everyone has a place and no further justification is required. This illustration could be found in the Japanese and Indian culture. On the other hand, low power distance means that power is distributed more equally and people want that no one gains too much power. In cultures with the low power distance such as the US or Norway, individuals endeavor to adjust the distribution of power and demand clarifications for inequalities of power.
The views and opinions of the people concerning the power distance are deeply rooted in their culture. The amount of respect we show to authority is inculcated in us by the culture we live in. It starts in the childhood where the children learn how much deference they can show to their parents, their teachers, and finally, it affects our relationships in our professional lives. High or large power distance societies give importance to the positioned power, power that is earned by birth or by wealth. On the other hand, the societies with low power distance give importance to the earned power, a power that is earned by hard work and motivation. Moreover, power distance also affects and influences the communication process in the cultures. Whether it is verbal or non-verbal communication, the degree of power distance plays a critical role. In low power distance culture, the people are more open, confident and can challenge the authority. Whereas the people in high power distance society are more submissive to their elders, authorities and never question or challenge them.
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