Our Blog


Nepotism In The Workplace And The Consequences Management Essay

The term nepotism refers to the practice of rendering employment to close relatives or friends while disregarding the other potential candidates. However, this phenomenon is not only restricted for recruiting people but also exercises promotions of the relatives prior to the other employees working in the company.

Nepotism can be spotted in workplaces, and it is not an uncommon practice. However, it is interesting to note that nepotism is much prevalent in the public sector than the private sector. Although there have been no certain rules or regulations imposed in the past, recently many ethical rules are crafted to discourage this practice.

What Is The Thought Behind The Nepotism Doctrine?
Nepotism can be spotted in family-owned businesses for evident reasons. As each family unit is interested in passing their business or wealth from generation to generation, the profit obtained will be cherished by the family solely for many years to come. Thus, the family will register itself among the elite and the business will be inherited by the members of the family.

What Are The Consequences Of Nepotism?
Nepotism has its pros and cons; however, the balance mostly weighs out on the con side. As for the pros, nepotism induces stability and continuity in business. The factor of continuity is observed because the business will not terminate and will expand by transferring the control from one family member to another. Also, the company or organization witnesses stability because of the bonding adhered by the family members to make their business successful.

However, the cons of the nepotism may include giving birth to the sense of dissatisfaction among the employees. This may handicap the employees to perform better towards their job since there is no reward associated with their performance. Thus, once the workforce feels that there is no value of their hard work and dedication, the company endures the loss of proficient employees who had the competency to run the business in a better manner. As a reaction, the quality of services and goods provided by the company is affected which may cause the company to lose its credibility among the masses.

One of the biggest drawbacks of nepotism is that family members may find it hard to keep their professional and personal life apart. They may tag along with their family conflicts in the workplace which may pan out to create a toxic environment. As a result, many employees will cut the ties of communication which may devour the operations of the company.

Furthermore, the dissatisfaction stemming from the inequity among the employees urges the workforce to yield low work output. In this connection, it becomes arduous for an organization to uphold discipline among the employees. In addition to this, the employees may disregard the practice of company’s policies and protocols because of the discontentment.

The threat imposed by the practice of nepotism is that the relative employees may conduct unethical acts as they feel that their close relative will back them. Thus, this may encourage masses to use such environment to the best of their interest by indulging in heinous activities such as fraud.

What Is The Evident Example Of Nepotism?
The prevalent examples of nepotism can be located in the government offices around the world. For instance, in Cuba, the presidency after forty years was passed from Fidel Castro to his brother Raul Castro. This position was granted to Raul without conducting any elections, and he held the presidential office from 2008 to 2018.

Also, in the United States of America, President George Bush employed Vice President Cheney’s wife and son-in-law for the positions of Assistant Secretary of State and Chief Counsel for the Office of Management and budget respectfully. On this account, President Bush had to put up with severe criticism as there were many other qualified candidates for the respective positions.

Apart from the government offices, the rife occurrence of nepotism can be located in the workplaces having the blood relations such as the father, husband, son etc. employed within the same company. The perception held by the other employees is that these employments solely took place on the merits of nepotism.

The following tests give out some conclusive results:

Front Page Test:
What if a blog, social media or the newspaper declare a person is practicing nepotism? This will create tension among the stakeholders, and they may refrain from investing further into the particular business.

The Regulations Test:
Let us consider a situation to explain the findings of this test. Assume you are a part of a meeting where the induction of your brother in the company was decided. If all the individuals present in the meeting belong to the same family, there will be no concerns or questions raised. However, if the meeting panel comprises of people sharing diverse family backgrounds, the decision is likely to face a backlash especially if your brother has a certain level of deficiency as per the job description.

Exception Test:
This test is dedicated to providing answers to two important questions: what if everyone practiced nepotism and what if we become the victim of nepotism.

For the first question, if every recruiter employed individuals that are directly related to them, it is liable that they don’t accurately fit the parameters of the job description at hand. For instance, if the available job is regarding computers, you should not induct someone with a political science degree and vice versa. Otherwise, by disregarding the requisites of merit, a business is likely to experience a negative turnover.

For the second question, if you experience the adverse effects of nepotism even though you possess all required credentials, it will be hard for you to power through.

What Are The Ethical Approaches Applicable In This Situation?
The following two approaches can be followed in this regard:

Justice And Fairness Approach:
The mechanism of promotion dictated by the company should stick to the principles of justice and should disregard the practice of favoritism. In this connection, if a position is found to be vacant, the competent employee should be promoted to that position. However, when the owner uses the cards of nepotism, he offers the vacant position to someone he knows. This infuses a sense of frustration and discontentment among the skillful employees. Thus, one should adhere to the justice and fairness approach to ensure the productivity of the company.

The Utilitarian Approach:
As the Utilitarian approach positions its locus between the wrong and right on the achieved outcomes, it looks beyond one’s interests. Thus, it can safely be said that this approach states the ethical behavior and to induct competent individuals is the way to grasp immaculate results.

What Are The Correct Measures To Overcome Nepotism?
To get rid of the vice of nepotism, the following practices should be incorporated:

Requirements For An Executive Position:
The employment should solely be conducted on merit, and even if a company is recruiting a close relative for an executive position, they should ensure that the person has:

  • Relevant education background for the job.
  • Pertinent work experience ranging from three to five years.

Thus, every individual should be assessed on these conditions, and if they satisfy the stated requirements, there should be no reservations on the employment.

Implementation Of The Federal Laws Relating To Nepotism:
It is the dire need of the time to implement the anti-nepotism laws across the world. However, it is natural to assume that these laws cannot be implemented in countries like Saudi Arabia as they practice monarchy and the succession is passed from a family member to another; thus, nepotism cannot be eradicated from the roots of their culture. On the other hand, the countries which practice democracy can enforce the anti-nepotism rules and contribute their part towards the eradication of nepotism. On this ground, some policies are being enforced such as in the US; some states restrict a couple to work at the same organization.

The Role of Managers:
Managers have the control to balance the requirements of the employees as per the workload rendered by them. However, managers tend to pick their favorite employees and disregard the efforts catered by other employees, which disrupts the flow of productivity. Hence, the manager should not showcase favoritism and should approve bonuses plus promotions of the employees as per their performance.

The Role of the Human Resource Department:
The human resource department should conduct surveys to gauge the concerns and opinions of the employees regarding nepotism. Also, this information should be put to the best of use, and relevant actions should be taken as per the feedback received.

In a nutshell, nepotism is an issue which strengthens its roots over the elapse of time. The influential powers shared among the family members may never allow the competencies of a skilled individual to surf which may handicap the efficacies of both the person and the company. Therefore, it is vital to implement certain rules and regulations to tarnish the practice of nepotism. Granted that there will be problems in doing so, but eventually, this step will lead towards a better future, free from nepotism in the workplace.

Tags: Posted in NepotismTagged , , ,

Leave a Reply