Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-2980

Some Effects of National Culture in Aviation Maintenance 1999-01-2980

These results show that FAA certified aircraft mechanics in Asian countries (Japan, Korea, SE Asia, and India) display greater power distance from superiors than do their U.S. counterparts working for the same international air carrier. This finding tends to confirm the findings and theory of Hofestede (1984), as well as recent replications of Hofestede’s work among airline pilots by Helmreich & Merritt (1998). However, divergence from Hofstede’s strong correlation between high power distance and collectivist values is also found in this sample of airline mechanics. The present findings show that mechanics (regardless of national origin) tend to be more uniformly individualistic than Helmreich & Merritt’s international sample of airline pilots, who are in turn considerably more individualistic than Hofstede’s international sample of IBM employees. It is speculated that this divergence is explained by a combination of occupational and organizational factors. Such individual-ism may prove a hinderance to a strong safety culture


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