Power distance refers to how people relate to differences in power among various groups and individuals. It is not possible in any nation for everyone to have an equal say in decision making processes that may affect them. A high power distance is created when people accept this and conform their behavior to a hierarchical system where the level of decision making power varies to a very large extent. A lower power distance is indicative of a societal structure where everyone has a relatively equal opportunity to question the decisions that are made and present their own ideas. In addition to economic progress and a democratic political structure, cultural norms and the way the society of a nation is structured plays a large role in determining the power distance.
The power distance is lower for most developed countries. For example an index designed to quantify the power distance (PDI) places the UK, Germany and the US right at the bottom; on the other hand France is in the upper quartile way above many under developed nations.