Nepotism in Organizations

Nepotism in Organizations

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qPreface Nepotism is a pervasive phenomenon in human organizations (Bellow, 2003). The Family Firm Institute (FFI, 2009), a group of practitioners and academics with about 1, 500 members, is designed to provide qeducation and networking servicesq to consultants of family firms. The Web page for FFI ( states that family firms are qthe dominant form of business organization worldwide.q Although this statement appears to be unsubstantiated by research evidence, it would be easy to argue that family connections are a major determinant of behavior in organizations. For example, major stockholders of one of the most successful business enterprises in the last century, Walmart, are relatives of its founder. It is not hard to find other examples of the integration of familial and organizational relationships (Bellow, 2003). Given that a primary purpose of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is to study behavior in work organizations from the perspective of scientific psychology, it is remarkable how little descriptive research exists on this topic. A PsychInfo search using the search phrase qnepotism and organizationsq yielded 27 articles, and included several about animal behavior (with notable exceptions in the I-O psychology literature by Werbel and Hames, 1996, and Kets de Vries, 1993). Apologists might argue that broader organizational studies have dealt with this under such umbrellas as social capital. However, research in ethological journals suggests that there is a meaningful set of psychological phenomena related specifically to nepotism that has not been explored in organizations. The titles found in this search (qIn Praise of Nepotism, q qAnti-Nepotism Reconsidered, q qNepotism: Boon or Baneq) suggest another possible explanation for this lack ofq--About the Contributors Thomas E. Becker, PhD, is a professor of management in the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. He received his PhD in industriala¬Ä¬Ēorganizational psychology from The Ohio Stateanbsp;...

Title:Nepotism in Organizations
Author:Robert G. Jones
Publisher:Routledge - 2013-06-17


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