4.12: Definition of Power

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Power

The power variable shows how much the less powerful members of a society expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

1. Definition

Hierarchy
Inequality is accepted. Structures are defined and differences in status are seen as normal. The culture satisfies a need for dependence and security.

Equality
Inequality is thought to be unsatisfactory. While is may be unavoidable, it is considered correct to minimize it thought legal, political and economic means.

2. Implications

Hierarchy
– Levels of power and authority are clearly defined.
– Subordinates accept that their superior has a right to more power than they do.
– Subordinates do work only in the way their superiors tell them to.
– No work bypasses the chain of authority.
– Negotiators must command respect by their title and status.

Equality
– The organization is flatter.
– Subordinates do not accept that the manager has a given right to greater power; this right has to be earned by the superior.
– Subordinates do their work in what they believe to be the best way.
– Work regularly bypasses the person in charge.
– Title, status and formal position have less influence in negotiations.


Activity
Where would you position your culture on this spectrum? Do you know where to position other cultures? How could you find out where other cultures are positioned? (Keep in mind that these determinations are generalizations, there are significant variations within cultures based on subcultures, countercultures and divergent individual preferences.)

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Definition of Space
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Definition of Individualism