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Nepotism perceived by managersin northern Sweden: An explorative study on attitudes towards nepotismand its usage
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This explorative study examines human resource-, executive- and site manager’s perception of nepotism in northern Sweden. Nepotism is a concept that describes the situation where a company values an applicant’s family ties in front of qualifications in the recruitment process. However, nepotism can as well be described from a broader perspective as the situation where a company values other social connections of significance that the applicant’s has at the company. What both of these situations have in common is that both applicants are hired due to their connections at the company, and not because of their skills.

The objective of this study was to investigate attitudes, if the managers perceived the concept as positive or negative, an explanation for why companies use the concept and factors that might justify the usage of nepotism. In order to meet these objectives we conducted an exploratory study where 10 managers, situated in the two counties Västerbotten and Västernorrland, were interviewed about their opinions and thoughts on the subject. The research questions that are to be answered in this study are; how do managers in the northern part of Sweden perceive nepotism? And we will also seek to answer, what are the differences between the perceptions of nepotism between the managers at small companies and the managers at medium-sized companies?

The findings and answers to the research questions of this research revealed that the overall attitudes among these managers were negative towards nepotism. However, what was discovered was also that they perceived nepotism as negative and protested against the usage of a nepotistic approach in the recruitment process at their company, but when the question was asked if they would help their own children in order for them to be favored in the recruitment process, the majority answered that they would help their children. This indicated that they contradicted their own opinions, which in this study resulted in that their attitudes felt rather diversified. In other words, the managers tended to have perceptions both from a personal perspective and organizational point of view. Moreover, the explanation to why the managers believed nepotism was used was mainly due to time limitations and simplicity. The findings also revealed that the managers expected that nepotism was used to a greater extent within family-owned businesses and in smaller cities. To answer if and what were the differences between the manager’s perception in small and medium companies, the findings of this study did not reveal any fundamental differences. In other words, there were no major differences to be found between managers at the two company sizes that allowed for a proper comparison.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91571OAI: diva2:737020
Educational program
International Business Program
Available from: 2014-08-13 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2014-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Norgren, HannaGustafsson, Carina
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