How Disagreements Often Articulated With Higher Authority?
The present paper would highlight high power distance and low power distance between two countries Greece and Brunei. It would also bring into limelight the decision making styles of the countries.
The concept of ‘power distance’ is an important one in the context of cross-cultural communication. Power distance refers to the process through which power is distributed and the limit to which the less powerful accept the fact that there is an inequal distribution of power. In a simpler manner, some cultures widely accept that there is a strong prevalence of unequal power distribution in comparison to other cultures where such acceptance is not found. When there is high power distance culture, the relationship existing between higher authority and the lower authority is highly dependent in nature. In contrast, when there is low power distance culture, the relationship existing between the higher authority and lower authority is of interdependence (Rallapalli and Montgomery 2015).
Greece has a score of Power Distance Score of 60 which is an intermediate score. However, it indicates aa slight potential to be on the higher side of the index. This implies that the Greek society has the belief that hierarchy is to be respected and it is justified to have inequalities among the people. This form of distribution of power indicates that those who hold power have more benefits in comparison to those who have less power in the society. In Greece, it is significant to show respect to elders and higher authorities. It is to be mentioned in here that the Greek culture has the firm belief that status is the symbol of power and it is important in light of decision making within a society. Social position determines the decision making process and the manner in which decisions are communicated within the society. However, in Greece, there is a wide presence of decentralised, looser hierarchies, leading to an intermediate power distance score. In organisations, the decisions of the leaders are often questioned. It is at times difficult to dictate the responsibilities to the subordinates. Disagreements are often articulated with the higher authority as the subordinates do not fear the results of engaging in a conflict (Yang et al. 2016).
In contrast, Brunei has a very high Power Distance Score of 78. The straight forward implication for this is that Brunei societies largely embrace inequality in the common hierarchical order. The meaning is that the societies identify power bases on their formal position and consider them as an unequal partner between subordinates and managers. This is a convincing position since societies believing in power distances considers the person is holding power to have the sole right to judge between what is right and what is wrong. In Brunei, younger generations are to respect the elders that are more perceived as teacher-centred education since the government provides free eduction to the children apart from the private education institutes. Coming to the work culture, the person holding a higher job title is to be given high respect since power is in their hand. There is always an emphasis on the significance of respect within the culture of this country. The decision can only be made by those who have higher authoritative power. The number of supervisors or leaders are more, and there is an absence of willingness to trust the subordinates. In the case of any fault, the blame is often put on the subordinates and conflict resolution is often a difficult task. This is due to the preconceived notion that authority and power are the prime facts of life. The culture, therefore, both unconsciously as well as consciously, teach the people that equality can never be achieved within a society and that authority of vertical arrangements for making decisions needs to be followed by all (Hofstede 2013).
Hofstede, G., 2013. Hierarchical power distance in forty countries. Organizations Alike and Unlike, ed. CJ Lammers and DJ Hickson (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), pp.97-119.
Rallapalli, K.C. and Montgomery, C.D., 2015. Marketing Strategies For Asian-Americans: Guidelines Based on Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions. In Minority Marketing: Research Perspectives for the 1990s (pp. 73-77). Springer International Publishing.
Yang, G., Hsu, D., Haas, A. and Steinberg, H., 2016, October. Entrepreneurial customer service, cultural differences, & the big 5 in China, Greece, Japan, & the United States. In Academy of Entrepreneurship (p. 23).
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