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Low and High Power Distance

by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP

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    00:06 One of the other cultural values has low power distance and high power distance.

    00:10 And that talks about hierarchies.

    00:13 And I mentioned the word elitism before and sometimes hierarchies can contribute to that.

    00:19 High power distance is where the hierarchies are.

    00:22 When in a hierarchical organization, we know how that structure is.

    00:26 There's a big supervisor. I don't like the word boss, but there's that person, the CEO.

    00:31 And then you have all these branches of people.

    00:34 Typically, in that type of structure, supervisors make the decisions.

    00:39 So and it emphasizes those differences in status, which can perpetuate that elitism sometimes, and also, the power.

    00:47 Using power in negative ways sometimes happens because of that.

    00:52 You may be asked to participate in some decision making, and you may not be.

    00:57 You might just be told that this is what we're doing.

    00:59 And this is the way it is in that structure.

    01:01 So is it your place to go in there and just start changing it all? You can advocate especially if something negative is happening as a result of that.

    01:11 But if it's not negative, and it's just that this is the way the structure is that the supervisors will make the decision, then you have the option to either stay in that type of organization or leave the organization.

    01:22 But going in, you need the understanding of who makes the decisions.

    01:27 The other side of that is low power distance, which is a flat organizational structure.

    01:32 And there's an emphasis on equality and shared decision making.

    01:36 Does that mean that high power distance organizations don't focus on equality? Absolutely not.

    01:42 It just means that at the end of the day, I might ask you what your opinion is, but I make the final decision in terms of what the outcomes will be for the strategic plan, the goals, the vision.

    01:55 And we're gonna hope that most organizations, even with that in mind, when those decisions are made, they're made with equity and equality in mind.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Low and High Power Distance by Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP is from the course Introduction to DEIB.


    Author of lecture Low and High Power Distance

     Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP

    Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP


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