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Nowadays, the hierarchy structure of any organization should respond to certain rules in order to establish discipline and provide the equal conditions for all employees. Hierarchy regulates the relationships between co-workers, employees and employer, and between top managers. Each individual is aware about his/her obligations and duties in the particular organization. However, despite the regulations and norms, one may face such phenomenon as nepotism. This term means the favoritism towards the relatives or close friends in order to progress a particular person up the career ladder. Nepotism means that a person receives additional benefits that are not available for others employees and which are as a rule gained unfairly. For example, the owner of some business hires his nephew for a position of a manager in his company. The nephew does not demonstrate brilliant style of work; moreover, he does not have the suitable leadership qualities for this position in order to perform his duties effectively. Nevertheless, six month later, he receives another promotion, and since that time, he occupies more serious position, but still he does not perform his work well. Moreover, his uncle turns a blind eye on his nephews failures and does not provide any strict punishment for him.
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This example demonstrates that nepotism, despite the unfair promotion and benefits, also means the reducing of the organization work performance. In other words, the companies where nepotism is a widespread phenomenon have more problems with discipline and index of advancement. Nepotism is more related to the eastern countries rather than to the western ones. The United States, as well as the West Europe have very low features of nepotism in organizations. On the other hand, the countries of the former Soviet Union and the oriental countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and other have very high level of nepotism (Paetkau, 2007). This difference can be explained by the mental type of behavior of people who live in the East and those people who live in the West. The western culture is more individualistic, and it means that each person can rely only on himself/herself, and he/she should not rely on the significant support from his relatives or friends. One cannot even imagine that his/her relative will intercede for him/her. The eastern culture has the opposite vision on this issue; besides, it is quite difficult for a person to receive a high position in organization if he/she will not receive any support from his/her relatives or friends. Hence, one can make a conclusion that nepotism in the West and in the East have different background, but one cannot deny that this phenomenon does not lead to the improvement of an organizations performance.
Public Safety Agency
Nepotism is probably one of the most dangerous phenomena that may happen in public safety agency. For instance, National Patient Safety Agency is created in order to provide save patient care and improve the existing health sector. The health issue is much serious than the loss of profit in the commercial structure because the poor quality of health care damages the health state of people. According to his fact, nepotism in National Patient Safety Agency can be viewed as the ethical dilemma. When one makes a decision to resort to nepotism in health care sphere, he/she should realize that this decision may endanger the lives of other people. However, the ethical issue does not relate only to patients as employees who work in this organization will also experience the ethical dilemma that is connected with nepotism (Repa, 2010). This phenomenon embraces the following aspects of ethical issue in the public safety organization.
Basic Concerns. Nepotism means that a daughter, nephew or a good family friend receives the position undeservingly. On the other hand, the candidates who have better education, are more skillful, or have any other knowledge that is necessary for the particular position do not have a chance to work for the progress of the company.
Atmosphere within Organization. The unfair benefits for the particular person which are based solely on the close relations may ruin discipline within an organization. The code of ethics that exists in every organization states that each employee should be treated fairly. Nepotism predetermines the unfairness that leads to the conflicts and reduces the general level of work performance.
Relations within Organization. People who receive more than others, especially if it is done unfairly, receive little respect from other people. In the case of nepotism, other employees may view such person as outcast, the one who does not belong to the team because he/she receives opportunities that are not available for others. The point does not lie only in opportunities but in methods that leaded for these benefits.
Low Performance. As a rule, nepotism is used in cases when an individual cannot achieve promotion relying only on his/her own efforts and skills. Therefore, it means that this individual is not good enough to gain the success and thus, he/she requires the additional help for this task.
According to these facts, nepotism affects the development of the organization and the wellbeing of all employees and even those who do not experience the impact of this phenomenon directly. Hence, the solution of this issue requires the immediate actions in order to stabilize the situation and direct the organization in the right way. First of all, it should be said that the owner of the organization is the best example for his/her employees. Thus, if the boss hires his relatives to work in his/her company and this decision is based only on the relatives ties but not the professionalism of this candidate, then it can be viewed as nepotism. One should differentiate family business and nepotism because despite the similarity of these two terms, they have different goals. Family business predetermines that those relatives who work in the organization do their best in order to make this organization better. Moreover, they have even more obligations than an ordinary worker on this position. In the case of family business, relatives are necessary in order to have the reliable people in the organization whom one may rely on.
Hence, nepotism in its direct meaning should not be encouraged by the organizations owner. In addition, it can be said that nepotism is a phenomenon that exists due to the top managers and those people who have higher position. An ordinary worker has little power in the organization, and thus, he/she cannot influence such decisions as hiring or promotion. In the case of nepotism, it is possible to avoid the spreading of this phenomenon if one goes from top of the career ladder to its bottom (Repa, 2010). Thus, if the owner of the organization wants to minify this phenomenon and he/she personally is against it, then he/she should pay special attention to his/her top managers and other senior positions of the organization.
Punishment and benefits have always been the best way to control people and make them obey rules. The same methods may be used in the case of nepotism. The code of ethics that should exist in any organization must include the paragraph about nepotism and the responsibility that one bares if he/she encourages it. As an example, the owner may instant the following rules that will help struggle against the development of nepotism within organization.
Reduce benefits. Those people who occupy senior position have more obligations, and as a result, they have more benefits because they perform harder work and they must be stimulated to do it better. These benefits may include the company-provided vehicle or discounts for the shopping in the particular areas. Thus, as a punishment, the boss may cancel these benefits, and the worker will lose an opportunity to use them. This punishment may be used as a temporary measure for a short or long term, for example, from 2 till 12 months, and as the irreversible one that has a permanent effect.
Reduce of salaries and money rewards. The boss may reduce salary as a punishment measure; he/she may also use this measure as a temporary decision or as the permanent act.
Loss of the position. If the case of nepotism brings serious consequences, one may even lose his/her current position and go down on one or more steps of the career ladder.
Dismissal. The case of nepotism may be viewed as serious violation and the punishment for such act can be chosen the dismissal of worker.
The examples of punishments that are illustrated above can be used as the measure in order to reduce the effect of nepotism in the organization. The owner of the organization chooses in which cases the punishment is necessary and when it is enough to make an oral warning. However, one also may use the opposite method such as benefits (Foote & Goodman-Delahunty, 2011). This method could include the beneficial system not only for those who decrease nepotism but also for those people who inform about such cases. In this case, people become interested in reducing nepotism in the workplace because it brings certain advantages for them such as a day off or other types of benefits.
Culture of the Agency
The current culture of the agency is controlled by the code of ethics and the policies that regulate the relationships within the organization. The code of ethics provides the rules that establish certain atmosphere that is based on friendly attitude to each other, trustworthiness, politeness and team cooperation. On the other hand, this code of ethics judges any types of disrespect, rude behavior, intolerance and nepotism. Such policies exist in order to make employees and employers obey these rules.
One of these policies is called Nepotism and Personal Relationships in the Workplace. According to this policy, the individuals of the same family or who have close personal relationship cannot work in the same organization. Moreover, in order to decrease the conflicts that are based on the conflict of interests, employees do not have a right to establish intimate relationship. The close relationships are as well serious as those relations are based on involving family members or blood relatives.
All employees should inform whether they have romantic relationship in the past or they have it during the present time. Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships in order to be hired or receive the promotion are also prohibited. Moreover, the supervisor cannot impact directly or indirectly on salary, promotion, work conditions for employees with whom such relations exist (Jones, 2012). Any supervisor who was involved in sexual relationship with employee should consult his/her own supervisor in order to establish whether these relationship has impact on the decisions that were made by supervisor towards the particular employee. Moreover, employees who are involved in sexual relationship with supervisor are also responsible for the failures that were made by supervisor because of such relationship.
Supervisor is a person who is responsible for the creating of a positive workplace environment, which leads to the growing of professionalism of his/her employees. Supervisor is viewed as a trustworthy person who has fair attitude to all employees. One of his/her goals is to minimize the conflict of interests in the workplace, and thus, he/she should make sure that the relationship that exists between employees and towards employees should base on fair conditions. Any sexual or romantic relationships may lead to serious conflicts such sexual harassment or favoritism. In both cases, the consequences of such actions will have the negative impact on the prosperity of the entire organization and the wellbeing of its employees (Paetkau, 2007). Thus, if supervisor receives a report about sexual relationship between his/her employees or between employee and other supervisor, he/she should speak confidentially with those individuals who are involved in this relationship. If the relationship does exist, then supervisor should make all necessary steps to ensure that the decisions that were made by employees and supervisor do not have romantic background.
When one talks about public safety agencies, the issue of nepotism is viewed even more seriously comparing to other organizations. Public safety agencies predetermine the providing service that is connected with the clients safety or have the impact on clients health state. For example, the health care institution provides the health care services for its patients. Thus, the quality of services should be on the highest level because even the smallest mistakes may be dramatic for patients health (Schyns & Hansbrough, 2010). According to this fact, nepotism as the phenomenon that is based on unfair attitude to the particular workers because of the sexual relations with them or the relative ties may have negative consequences. One may view this issue from two aspects of nepotism. The first aspect includes the relative relations, close friends or other family members. In this case, a person may receive a position in a public safety agency due to his/her relations but not personal qualities, skills or knowledge. According to this fact, the level of professionalism of such candidate is lower than it is required because there would be no such necessity of nepotism if this particular person was good enough for this position. Thus, in this case, nepotism is used to hire relatives and give them an opportunity to work in the organization. Nepotism which is based on family relations is dangerous because it leads to the decreasing of service quality. Moreover, if such person occupies the senior position, it may be reflected as the bad management and lead to the reducing of trustworthy to the organization.
The second aspect predetermines the sexual relationship within the organization. In this case, the professionalism of the individual may not be related to this issue. However, the general performance of the public safety agency may be endangered. People who are in intimate relationships are supposed to make decisions that are based not on the rational motives but on the feelings that a particular person experiences towards another. In other words, a person may make wrong decisions that do not lead to the development of the organization or do not predetermine the interest of other employees but concentrate only on the interests of the person with whom he/she has the relationship. According to this fact, some individuals will receive promotion or other benefits that are gained unfairly. This tendency may lead to the disapproval from other employees who work fairly and hard but do not have similar advantages. Finally, the team spirit could be reduced, which will reflect on the general performance of the public safety agency.
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Obviously, both aspects of nepotism have negative influence on the organization development and well-being. The issue of nepotism in public safety agency has always been raised on the highest level (Schyns & Hansbrough, 2010). These agencies as a rule do not allow its employees being in close relationship. Moreover, the agencies have strict limitations that forbid relatives to work in one organization even if their employment was not the result of nepotism. According to the importance of such issue in the public safety agency, nepotism is prohibited by the existing agencys policies; besides, these policies regulate the issues that may have close connections with nepotism. Finally, supervisors may use the policy as the main source of information when he/she faces with nepotism in the workplace. As a rule, public safety agencies inform its candidates about such issues before their employment and warn about the consequences.
Taking into consideration all the above mentioned information and analyzed examples of nepotism, one can state that this phenomenon makes no good to any organization. Moreover, it only harms a company, brings new challenges to the staff and a company as a whole, and becomes an obstacle in the way of its development. As it can be observed, it is an incredible luck for an organization if a person who was hired and further promoted because of blood relationships or friendship is really a good candidate for a position. More often, people who are hired or promoted in this way are not qualified enough for the position. A company risks a lot when accepting such employees since they do not have all the necessary abilities, skills, knowledge, experience and often even desire to conduct their work in a proper way. Of course, there is a limited number of vacancies at any organization. Therefore, hiring a non-competent relative, the administration of a company loses a chance to acquire a mature and qualified employee who will play a significant role in the companys development and improvement of the quality of its service or goods. Besides, one of the problems that appear because of nepotism is the attitude of the non-relatives members of staff towards such an unjust favoritism.
As a result, there can be constant arguments or even quarrels at the workplace, which obviously has purely negative influence on the employees performance and a companys reputation. Undoubtedly, it may seem to some employers that nepotistic policy has some particular advantages, such as, for instance, a higher level of trust to such an employee. Surely, one can trust his or her relative or friend in terms of loyalty, but it is impossible to be sure that this employee will succeed in his work and enhance any useful ideas or skills to a company. In contrast, a qualified, responsible and experienced non-relative worker can be much more useful for an organization, especially if he or she is under a proper supervision. Therefore, the only logical conclusion that one can do in case of nepotism is that before hiring a relative or a friend, it is necessary to ensure that his/her qualifications, skills and abilities really suit a desired position and will bring positive outcomes. In addition to this, it will be much better to think if the close cooperation with a relative or a friend will not harm the relationship, which is possible because of inevitable challenges and misunderstandings in the working process.