The Power Distance Index (PDI) is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of organisations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.” High PDI societies have authority and hierarchy embedded into their social structure while low PDI societies usually have a tendency to question the authorities.
There is a chapter in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell called The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes. The chapter highlights how our culture / cultural upbringing can become a boon or burden to our success in a particular field.
He gives examples where plane crashes had occurred due to communication breakdown or miscommunication between the Captain, First Officer and the ATC. He uses Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory – specifically, the dimension known as Power Distance – to explain the root cause of these accidents. These incidents were mostly linked to airlines from countries where the PDI is high like Columbia and Korea.