Nepotism and Cronyism as a Cultural Phenomenon?

The Handbook of Business and Corruption

ISBN: 978-1-78635-446-4, eISBN: 978-1-78635-445-7

Publication date: 29 August 2017


The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the cultural values which underpin the practice and acceptance of nepotism and cronyism in societies and organizations worldwide. We argue that there are advantages inherent in harnessing the resources of the social networks involved in nepotism and cronyism, but there are also major problems arising from the inequality and unfairness of these practices. A theoretical consideration of cultural values combined with illustrative cases is used to discuss nepotism and cronyism in different cultures. We suggest that nepotism and cronyism exist in all cultures but perception and discussion of these phenomena as well as the perceived gravity of their effects can vary according to the cultural values of egalitarianism and universalism, together with the economic development of the societies in which they occur.



Hudson, S. and Claasen, C. (2017), "Nepotism and Cronyism as a Cultural Phenomenon?", Aßländer, M. and Hudson, S. (Ed.) The Handbook of Business and Corruption, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 95-118.

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