Nepotism in American Business

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In the article “Nepotism in American Business” by Adam Bellow in the book Honest Work, Bellow makes the case that nepotism if practiced carelessly it is humiliating for everyone involved – especially the under qualified beneficiary – but if nepotism is performed successfully it fulfills a deep desire to care for our families while contributing to society at the same time. The roots of nepotism were initially developed in the fourteenth or fifteenth century in Italy to describe the dishonest custom of selecting papal relatives to office – generally illegitimate sons who were often depicted as their “nephews”. Today nepotism can be defined as “a favoritism based on kinship” and from a business aspect many see it as hiring a relative who is incredibly inept and unskilled. Many see hiring a relative – qualified or not - as nepotism, while in reality there are many practices today that can technically fall under the category as nepotism. Like most areas of life, some see these practices as acceptable and ordinary while others view them as full-blown nepotism in practice. Critics see nepotism as a way to promote and hire family members or close friends over more qualified applicants. These actions betray our innate sense of justice and seem to provoke strong feelings of disdain for the acts of nepotism and those who seem to be benefiting from it. Nepotism is often seen in family businesses and these practices are generally accepted as “the way things are” by the other employees involved. These opportunities are a large problem if the person is highly under qualified. Many economists see nepotism as an obstruction to change in business firms while others see it as “networking”. These views reflect the negative view of old nepotism. New nepotism has become more competitive and the world has become an international marketplace – if you are hired with connections you still have to prove your value and gain merit or consequences will follow. It is much less...
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