Power distance orientation in Puerto Rican employees in Pennsylvania

by Kemper, Keri C., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 100 pages; 10241785


This study expands upon Geert Hofstede’s theory that employees in high power distance societies will prefer and accept direction from their workplace superiors. Hofstede’s first two dimensions of national culture, power distance and uncertainty avoidance, are based in the results to questions related to hierarchical relationships. This and other studies into power distance orientation reveal significant country differences, but no previous research exists into power distance among Puerto Rican workers who have relocated to the continental United States. This dissertation addresses that gap with a qualitative, phenomenological study into the research question of whether there exists anecdotal evidence of high power distance orientation among Puerto Rican employees living and working in Pennsylvania. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Pennsylvania with 15 hourly employees originally from Puerto Rico. In answer to the research question, no evidence of high power distance orientation is indicated through the analysis. Implications of this study include the potential for cultural shifts over time as a result of economics, politics, and technology. From the anecdotes, emerge themes of the importance of family and leisure time over status, the desire for respect and organizational justice, and a sense of comfort and familiarity with current supervisors and managers.

AdviserStephanie M. Fraser-Beekman
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior; Hispanic American studies
Publication Number10241785

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