6 | P a g e
In order to understand the cultural differences between people of different countries, Geert
Hofstede started a large survey study within the IBM organization in 56 countries in 1970. His
survey study has provided us with an insight into other countries and cultures, especially with
respect to effective interactions between people. After more than 1.000 interviews and a variety of
angles, the model of the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions emerged. Initially, four dimensions were
identified; later a fifth and sixth dimension was added to the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions. In
successive studies these Hofstede Cultural Dimensions were identified for 76 countries. Each
country has a scale from 1 to 100 for each dimension. The higher the score, the more the dimension
in question emerges in the culture. The Hofstede Cultural Dimensions are set out in a structural
model using a versus construction.
III. COMPARISON OF MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES
Countries in Consideration: United Arab Emirates, Jordan and
Power Distance Index (PDI):
The definition of power distance within the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions refers to the measure
of inequality that exists- and is accepted – by people with and without power. This represents the
inequality (high versus low), but in the sense of acceptance. A high PDI score indicates that a high
power distance can be observed in which the conclusion can be drawn that there is great inequality
in society (culture). Strong hierarchical relationships, displays of little respect and authority can
be traced back to most Asian countries. A low score represents a low power distance. Here equality
can be perceived and this can mainly be traced back to European countries.
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with a score of 95 and 90 respectively, Jordan with
a score of 70 is considered high in PDI dimension it means that people accept a hierarchical order
in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification.
People in societies exhibiting a large degree of Power Distance accept a hierarchical order in which
everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low Power
Distance, people strive to equalize the distribution of power and demand justification for
inequalities of power.