Is Nepotism Good or Bad? Types of Nepotism and Implications for Knowledge Management

Peter Jaskiewicz, Klaus Uhlenbruck, David B. Balkin, Trish Reay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations

Abstract

In contrast to the literature that portrays nepotism as generally problematic, we develop a conceptual model to explain why some family firms benefit from nepotism while others do not. We distinguish two types of nepotism based on how nepots are chosen. We elaborate the differences between entitlement nepotism and reciprocal nepotism. We propose that reciprocal (vs. entitlement) nepotism is associated with three family conditions that indicate generalized (vs. restricted) social exchange relationships between family members. We also suggest that generalized social exchanges are valuable to firms because they facilitate tacit knowledge management that can lead to competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-139
Number of pages19
JournalFamily Business Review
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • family business
  • nepotism
  • social exchange theory
  • tacit knowledge management

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