High Power Distance

Lesson 2: Topic 10 of 19

This is not the case in a nation with high Power Distance. Differences between nations with high and low Power Distance are visible in governance changes. Hofstede’s groundbreaking research “asserts that in high power distance countries the political spectrum tends towards extremes with a weak moderate-center, and political change is generally made by violent overthrow of the existing power structure (revolution).” In other words, the entrenched elites create structures that make it difficult for others to rise to powerful positions.

Drastic measures from the people are required in high Power Distance cultures to affect any shift in how they are ruled. Without an accessible means to alter power positions, such as a fairly clean election process, the majority can’t do much. The middle class is either small or nonexistent, and may depend on the favor of those in power to remain economically and socially middle class. In High Power distance societies where corruption is visible, many people without power might shrug or scowl. They feel helpless to affect change. They may not usually dare to challenge authorities in a direct manner. 

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