Do nepotism and cronyism have payoff boundaries? A cross-country investigation

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In modern business, the phenomena of “nepotism” and “cronyism” are often observed, which are usually associated with corruption in the public sector and abuse of public resources. However, these phenomena are international in scale, and no country or sector of the economy is free from them. Existing research does not identify shared and contradictory interests of individuals based on nepotism or cronyism. This study aims to fill this research gap. A research hypothesis was developed and tested in order to determine a point from which nepotism and cronyism are not beneficial to their perpetrators. The research data included Poles and Albanians. According to Transparency International (2022), the obtained results showed that Polish society is currently less vulnerable to corrupt practices than Albanians. Moreover, it was substantiated that relative altruism operates as the mechanism that explains nepotism or cronyism practices. Individuals involved in nepotism or cronyism perceive these practices as a tool to reduce the risk of their operations failing. However, the phenomena lead to long-lasting reciprocity, like in the case of corruption. This study contributes to a better contextual diagnosis of organizations and helps develop preventive strategies.

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    • Figure 1. Area of shared and contradictory interests of the relationships based on nepotism/cronyism
    • Table 1. Experience with nepotism and cronyism
    • Conceptualization
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski
    • Data curation
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Formal Analysis
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Investigation
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski, Sylwia Przytuła, Martina Rašticová
    • Methodology
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski
    • Project administration
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Resources
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Software
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski
    • Supervision
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski, Sylwia Przytuła, Martina Rašticová
    • Validation
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Visualization
      Zbysław Dobrowolski
    • Writing – original draft
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski, Sylwia Przytuła, Martina Rašticová
    • Writing – review & editing
      Zbysław Dobrowolski, Łukasz Sułkowski, Sylwia Przytuła, Martina Rašticová
    • Funding acquisition
      Łukasz Sułkowski