Exploring the Nature of Power Distance: Implications for Micro- and Macro-Level Theories, Processes, and Outcomes

Abstract: Power distance is a value that differentiates individuals, groups, organizations, and nations based on the degree to which inequalities are accepted either as unavoidable or as functional. Understanding power distance is especially important in organizational research because power is fundamental to all relationships, is inherent in hierarchical organizations, and affects many organizational processes and outcomes. We begin by reviewing existing value taxonomies and definitional elements of power distance. Next, we review theories and research linking power distance to micro and macro work-related outcomes. We conclude by identifying areas where additional organizational research on power distance is needed and, in doing so, provide an agenda for future research in this area. Our review highlights power distance as an important explanatory variable and boundary condition for many relations that organizational (not just cross-cultural) scientists examine.

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APA-Format Citation

Daniels, M. A., & Greguras, G. J. (2014). Exploring the nature of power distance: Implications for micro-and macro-level theories, processes, and outcomes. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1202-1229.