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Repost Marina Mahathir's article censored by The Star: Malaysia is number one in the Power Distance Index

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By Marina Mahathir

Some time last year a friend gave me a very interesting book, Cultures and Organisations: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival by Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov. Professor Geert Hofstede is a Dutch sociologist who studies the ways in which companies can incorporate intercultural factors in the countries they work in so that they may function better.

One of the five intercultural dimensions that Hofstede developed in this research is the Power Distance Index that looks at how much a culture does or does not value hierarchical relationships and respect for authority. The PDI measures the distribution of power and wealth between people in a nation, business and culture, and seeks to demonstrate the extent to which subordinates or ordinary citizens submit to authority. The index figure is lower in countries or organisations in which authority figures work closely with people, and higher in countries or organisations with a more authoritarian hierarchy.

Examples of countries with high PDIs are the Arab countries, Russia, India and China while those with low scores […]