Nepotism in Organizations: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nepotism in Organizations

1st Edition

Edited by Robert G. Jones


317 pages

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There is a huge elephant in the room: organizational decisions are often based on family relationships, rather than on the ‘rational’ approach advocated by many professionals. Textbooks on Human Resources, Management, Organizational Behavior, Economics, Public Administration, and a host of related areas seem to have entirely missed this important aspect of organizational decision making. This book seeks to change all of this. By clearly identifying and defining nepotism in organizations, this book pulls back the curtain on the primary basis for many of the important things that really happen in organizations, large and small. The authors skillfully weave examples of nepotism in real organizations with the usual scholarly textbook topics (hiring, leadership, employment law, career search, culture, etc.) in a way that defines an entire new field of quantitative organizational research. This new book in SIOP's Organizational Frontiers series represents the first time IO psychologists have looked at the important subject of nepotism in organizations.


"Nepotism in Organizations is a first in I/O psychology. Jones and his chapter contributors have covered a wide range of topics related to nepotism, clarified definitions and issues related to nepotism in organizations, and made a number of suggestions for research. … [This book] should be on every I/O psychologist's bookshelf. For the practioner, the book gives insights for interventions to minimize its positives. For the academic and graduate student, the book provides a wealth of interesting ideas to think about and possible research topics." - Stephen M. Colarelli, Central Michigan University, USA, in Personnel Psychology

"Nepotism has probably been a common approach to employing people since the inclination to use organized labor in order to get work done. But as made clear by this book edited by Bob Jones, it is also the modus operandi of many businesses today, whether it’s an entrepreneur starting a business, a patriarch running a family firm or even, in several parts of the world, a large multi-divisional enterprise. When it comes to having people work for us, we often favor clansmen over strangers. The lesson is clear: anyone who wants to gain a more complete understanding of the real "world" of work must definitely read this book." - Richard Klimoski, Dean of the School of Management, George Mason University, USA

"In many organizations, the elephant in the room issue has been the brother-in-law in the room. With this volume, we have the cogent and instructive treatment of organizational nepotism we’ve needed for so long." - Robert B. Cialdini, Author, Influence: Science and Practice

"Most companies in the world are nepotistic and quite effective. Further, the longest-lived companies are nepotistic, and they need to take survival into account when considering what performance really is all about, as contrasted with milking the cow to death, which public companies are very good at. This subject has not been covered well elsewhere and is a pervasive phenomenon about which there is little good scientific evidence and scant philosophical argument." - Dr. Joseph Astrachan, Kennesaw State University, USA

"This interesting and engaging book sheds further light on ‘the secret life of organizations’; it shows once more that many real organizational practices are astonishingly self-defeating—something our textbooks deny but Freud predicted." -Robert Hogan, PhD. , President, Hogan Assessments

Table of Contents

E. Salas, Series Foreword. Preface. R.G. Jones, Defining a Psychology of Nepotism. A. Gutman, Nepotism and Employment Law. P. W. Muchinsky, The Nepotistic Organization: What is This Place and How Do the People Make It? E. Van Hooft, T. Stout, Nepotism and Career Choice, Job Search, and Job Choice. M.W. Dickson, L.R.G. Nieminen, B.J. Biermeier-Hanson, Nepotism and Organizational Homogeneity: How the ASA Process is Accelerated by Non-merit-based Decision-making. T.E. Becker, Nepotism and the Commitment of Relevant Parties. A. Masuda, M. Visio, Nepotism Practices and the Work-Family Interface. K.H. Mhatre, R.E. Riggio, H.R. Riggio, Nepotism and Leadership. G. Wated, J.I. Sanchez, The Cultural Boundary of Managing Nepotism. B.H. Mulder, A Model of Organizational Nepotism. R.G. Jones, Toward a New Understanding of Nepotistic Organizational Behavior.

About the Editor

Robert G. Jones is professor of psychology and department head at Missouri State University. After a first career in music and banking, Bob returned to school to get his PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from The Ohio State University in 1992. In this second career, Bob and his students, colleagues, and clients have dealt with a broad range of issues in selection and assessment. Most of this work has focused on understanding and managing the basis for applied, person-perception-based assessments, including emotive perception and prejudices. He has addressed these issues in various publications, numerous applied settings, and classrooms in the U.S., Australia, and the Netherlands. As Book Review Editor of Personnel Psychology (1994-2004), Bob had the pleasant task of reading lots of books, including the ones that inspired this one.

About the Series

SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series

The Series of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)

Visit the new SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series landing page!

Launched in 1983 to make scientific contributions to the field, this series has attempted to publish books on cutting edge theory and research derived from practice in industrial and organizational psychology and related organizational science disciplines.

The goal of the series is to inform and stimulate research for SIOP members (students, practitioners and researchers) and people in related disciplines, including other subdisciplines of psychology, organizational behavior, human resource management, and labor and industrial relations.

To propose a title, please contact Christina Chronister ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
PSYCHOLOGY / Industrial & Organizational Psychology