- Hierarchy and power distance


The term "power distance" is used to refer to human inequality and how it is accepted in the society. The term has gained popularity in various fields, including Intercultural Communication, due to the studies of Hofstede on work-related values.

Criteria for giving somebody a higher status in a society vary. Two basic orientations have been identified: ascription and achievement. In ascription-oriented societies status is based on factors such as age, position or gender. In achievement-oriented societies status is mainly based on personal achievements.

In cross-cultural value studies Finland, as well as other Nordic countries, has been identified as a low power distance, equalitarian culture.

© Liisa Salo-Lee, 2006


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