What is meant by the Power Distance Index?
Definition of Power Distance. Power distance is a term that describes how people belonging to a specific culture view power relationships - superior/subordinate relationships - between people, including the degree that people not in power accept that power is spread unequally.
Power Distance in The United States. While all societies and cultures are not equal, the range of inequality varies from culture to culture. The United States score is a low 40, which is no surprise. We value the American premise of “liberty and justice for all.”
- Power distance is the degree to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally. In very high power distance cultures, the lower level person will unfailingly defer to the higher level person, and feel relatively ok with that as it is the natural order.
- A masculine society has traits that are categorized as male, such as strength, dominance, assertiveness, and egotism. Feminine society is traditionally thought of as having conventional traits, such as being supportive, caring, and relationship oriented.
- The first way is individualism, which states that each individual is acting on his or her own, making their own choices, and to the extent they interact with the rest of the group, it's as individuals. Collectivism is the second way, and it views the group as the primary entity, with the individuals lost along the way.
Dimensions of national cultures. Power distance index (PDI): The power distance index is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.”
- Low-context culture is a term used by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in 1976 to describe a communication style that relies heavily on explicit and direct language. Learn more about low-context cultures from examples and test your knowledge with a quiz. Intro to Anthropology: Help and Review / Social Science Courses.
- Long-term orientation is when you are focused on the future. Short-term orientation is when you are focused on the present or past and consider them more important than the future. If you have a short-term orientation, you value tradition, the current social hierarchy and fulfilling your social obligations.
- Individualism is the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family.
Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. India scores high on this dimension, 77, indicating an appreciation for hierarchy and a top-down structure in society and organizations.
- It is lower than most of the former English colonies like the USA, Canada, or Australia in individualism but is higher than many of the Asian countries that are adjacent to it. Here is Hofstede's analysis: India, with a rather intermediate score of 48, is a society with both collectivistic and individualistic traits.
- Hofstede's Power distance Index measures the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
- Another way culture can change is through contact with other cultures. When contact occurs between two cultures, diffusion may occur. Diffusion is the transfer of ideas between cultures. In the past, this was limited because fewer people were able to travel or communicate with people from far away lands.
Updated: 25th November 2019