Power Distance accounts for the majority of cultural differences in the world.
Understanding Power Distance is essential in Cultural Awareness Training. In this short video I explain what some consequences can be when different cultures with a different score on this dimension interact, or work together.
After having done a presentation on Personal Cultural Awareness Training in Amsterdam last month for Talk about IT, I was asked to comment on what 3 things some one can do to better understand “the other” culture.
Watch this short 2 minute video… (please Click the Read More button) Read More
One of the easiest dimensions to understand in Cultural Awareness Training from Professor Geert Hofstede’s 4 dimensions of culture is Power Distance. Sometimes attributed to as much as 80% of all the “difficulties” people experience when working internationally.
In this short video professor Hofstede explains the essentials of one of his dimensions called Power Distance.
The country is Japan. The setting is a commuter train. The situations is a pregnant women, wearing a badge telling people around her she is pregnant.
The reason for this is so other sitting passengers will stand up (if they can, due to the crowded train!), and let the pregnant women sit down.
But… why does she not just say she´s pregnant, or why do (typically men) not stand up out of them selves? Or people will eventually see she is pregnant!
Japanese Culture Explained:
Japan is a country with a collective society (score 46 on the Individualism dimension from Hofstede). One of the characteristics of collectivism is that your opinion is secondary to that of the group; in this case you do not claim your seat.