Issue of Nepotism in Business Ethics Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer


Most economists define business ethics as the code of conduct that a business firm follows, while interacting and transacting with its internal and external members. Most businesses are faced with difficult scenarios that force them contemplate business ethics, thus compromising their businesses’ reputation.

Among these is nepotism, a situation whereby an employer knowingly and willingly hires an unmerited family member or promotes him or her to a higher rank. Moreover, nepotism derives its meaning from a Latin word, meaning nephew (Nadler and Schulman). This document, therefore, critically looks into nepotism and its adverse effects, based on Sally’s example.


Sally is faced with a difficult scenario, whether she should employ her boss’s nephew and risk bringing incompetence into her department, or hire qualified personnel for bookkeeping and anger her boss. Among the ethical theories that relate to this case are virtue ethics, deontology and utilitarianism. Virtue ethics is more concerned with character in which case, Sally should adhere to the business code of conduct and hire a competent bookkeeper.

On the other hand, deontology is largely dependent on duties, moral responsibilities and a firm’s rules and regulations. In this case, Sally may observe her responsibilities and company rules thus determine whether it is morally upright to employ her boss’s nephew.

In utilitarianism, she must consider the possible effects of her choice to the majority and further determine whether it would be beneficial or detrimental to hire the nephew.

Before coming into a decision as to whom she should hire, Sally should research on the consequences of her choice. She should consider the long-term effects of her decision. Moreover, she should investigate the facts for justifying her decision. Her facts should be legal, uncoerced, and morally oriented.

In my opinion, Sally should hire a qualified and competent bookkeeper and ignore the pressure of her boss. This is because; hiring the boss’s nephew compromises the competence and efficiency in her department.

The services the boss’s nephew will offer will be inferior, thus resulting to low performance. This may have adverse effects on her department and may even lead to its collapse.

Moreover, hiring the boss’s nephew is against moral traits of fairness, since it may have a negative impact on other workers, thus leading to conflicts within the department (Arasli and Tumer). As a result, the net production of Sally’s department will decline tremendously.

Hiring an incompetent bookkeeper, due to his relations with the boss, may tarnish the company’s reputation. The society may view this as unfair and critics may revolt against this disreputable act, resulting in poor customer relationship hence reduced sales.

Hiring the boss’s nephew will mean overburdening other employees, due to his incompetence. This will put pressure on these employees, and thus lead to internal conflicts in Sally’s department. Consequently, this will hamper her department’s performance.

In my view, Sally should take the matter to the supervisor, for further discussion, since this will help solve her dilemma. Even though, this will anger her boss, her conscience will be clear.

She may risk losing her job, but, on the other hand, it will prevent the occurrence of another incidence of the same kind. This will go a long way improving the competence of her department, thereby improving the overall reputation of the company.


Many employees face the dilemma of whether to contemplate business ethics, and perform actions that may benefit a few individuals, but lead to negative long-term effects to their firms. One of the challenges facing business ethics is nepotism.

Though it may benefit a few, its impacts to business firm are adverse. Employees must always strive to fight nepotism and other vices of the business, no matter what consequences they may bear, for the long-term benefit of the firms.

Works Cited

Arasli, Huseyin, and Tumer, Mustafa. Nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism: a study of their effects on job stress and job satisfaction in the banking industry of North Cyprus. Bnet. Oct. 2008. Web.

Nadler, Judy, and Schulman Miriam. Favoritism, Cronyism and Nepotism. Markkula Center for applied Ethics. Jun. 2006. Web.

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