What is Nepotism?

Pin It

Nepotism is a subject that is fairly common to mankind as a whole. It is also known and practiced, to some degree, by us all. For those interested in understanding more about this sort of natural bias, here’s the quick scoop.

Familial Bonds Prevail

Family is typically our closest ally. They are the ones we grow up with, trust everything with, experience life with, and more. Naturally, and as a result of this unparalleled bond, it is a great tendency of humans to choose our own blood and closest relations when it comes to all sorts of life matters. In business, in sport, in leisure, in times of challenge – we naturally choose our closest and most well known associates to be by our sides through all types of life happenings.

Related resource: 15 Best Value Online Human Resource Management Degree Programs

If you understand this basic concept, then you already understand NPTSM, or familial favoritism. Per the official Merriam Webster Dictionary, the short but telling definition of this common concept is listed as “favoritism based on kinship.” Most cases of the term’s use involve workplace or organizational implications, although it is used to refer to the generality of familial favoritism itself.


There are certainly many advantages to this type of favoritism, as we are almost primitively inclined to such leanings for some adaptive reasoning. By running a business with family, for example, relations, trust, and knowledge of associates’ strengths and weaknesses are much easier to come by. Some of the strongest organizations and even ruling governments have in fact been nepotistic in nature. The bonds of family truly can conquer all things when working in unison.

Dilemmas, COI

On the other hand and despite the many, inarguable advantages to the nepotistic approach, there are also many disadvantages associated with it. When family has problems, the divisions and damage can be much greater than divisions experienced with previously unknown, unrelated associates. In addition, family bonds can actually cause what is known as conflicts of interest.

Joe is a safety compliance worker that oversees many of his family members’ work within a medium-sized, largely family administered business. He is aware of several of the familial workers’ blatant safety shortcomings but has a difficult time citing them for the open violations. Joe is experiencing what is known as a conflict of interest, or COI. He has interests in his family members’ success, but he also has an interest and obligation to the company and duties of his specific position. The conflict is clear in Joe’s multiple interests and the dilemma he then faces because of them.

Current Spotlight on the Subject

Recently, heightened attention has been cast on the nepotistic approach by way of the new United States President Donald Trump’s administration. Within some of the president’s closest circles of counsel and even official positions are his direct family members. Naturally, great concerns of COI were raised at the very first acknowledgments of this governing approach. Legal analysts and government officials have since cleared the way for the president’s familial governing approach citing the minutia of its inner-workings as being ultimately safeguarded against COI and other worrisome nepotistic consequences.

The nepotistic approach is certainly an understandable and quite natural one in so many of our affairs. Despite its many advantages though, it can be quite problematic if gone awry. These are the basics of that familial favoritism we all naturally can understand that is nepotism.

Pin It