Power Distance

An interesting real life example from Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers‘ (see your OUP book p214-5): Korean airline crashes resulting form High Power Distance cultre of the cockpit.
  • Dynamics of power ingrained into Korean pilots
  • status is determined before speaking to a person; different verbs and pronouns etc for differing status
  • Co-pilot is inferior to the pilot, he can never say “I have a problem”, co-pilot may never challenge the pilot, must ingratiate himself with the pilot through gift giving
  • Backwards language, “that’s a very interesting mountain that we are heading directly for”
  • Recommendations: speak English only when flying, change titles for co-pilot and pilot
  • Loss of face is very important concept