Consequences of Nepotism in Today’s Time - Riddhi Rohatgi

“Nepotism is a disease, which cannot be transmitted but can only be


Workers who are the most innovative or productive or those who possess

enterprising leadership are inevitably propelled to the top. That’s the image

many of us have of the workplace. In reality, the practice of favouring and

promoting relatives or paramours, more commonly known as nepotism, is

widely practiced in companies large and small across the country.

Oxford describes nepotism as “the practice among those with power or

influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” But

it not only by giving jobs that nepotism is seen in action. It is seen in an

employer’s favouritism towards an employee who they may personally know or

be related to. It is seen in promotions being given to certain employees based on

their relations with the management and not their merit. It is seen when the head

of an organization deliberately looks over the shortcomings of a relation/friend

while calling out the other employees for the same behaviour.

Nepotism has been criticized since the ancient times by several

philosophers, including Aristotle, Valluvar, and Confucius. It has always been

dominant in every professional sphere but we are now becoming increasingly

aware of it. There are many consequences of nepotism, both, on the

organization, as well as the workers.

One of the chief complaints in a company that heeds nepotism is the lack

of fairness. Even if the favouritism of certain workers is only perceived, it can

cause dissatisfaction and lower morale, leading to lower profits. If employees

are overlooked for promotions, increase in pay, incentives, etc., they will have

less motivation to perform diligently. This may result in a company’s valuable

employees seeking employment elsewhere, where their talents are more finely


Bringing friends and family into the workplace can be tricky. Whether or

not you hired them for the right reasons, it can be difficult for existing

employees to adapt. If workers who are hired due to nepotism are in positions of

power, their workers might question their authority thinking that they do not

have the necessary knowledge, skills and outlook to perform their jobs. If

employees question their abilities to do their jobs, they may show them less

respect, ignore their ideas and instructions or comment to fellow employees

that they were only hired because of their relationships with management or

the business owner. This may result in bitter conflicts between co-workers.

As a case study, let us take see how the Trump administration has

responded to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump has made his wildly unqualified son-in-law,

Jared Corey Kushner, the in charge of the coronavirus task force. He is just

another person of mediocre intelligence whose parents bought him a place at

Harvard. With no actual qualifications to deal with such a crisis, the President

has faced backlash for appointing Kushner. And as if that was not alarming

enough, Kushner has turned to a supermodel’s physician father for advice

which, in this case, again, has to do with nepotism.

Karlie Kloss, an American fashion model, is married to Kushner’s

brother, Joshua Kushner.

The result is a White House which is outsourcing duties to the son-in-

law’s brother’s father-in-law’s Facebook group. Kurt Kloss wrote in a Facebook

group called EM Docs, “If you were in charge of Federal response to the

Pandemic what would your recommendation be. Please only serious responses.”

This is not unlike the previous dealings of the Trump administration. The

President is heavily dependent on Kushner, despite his many errors and

shortcomings. Kushner himself had advised Trump that the media was

exaggerating the threat of the coronavirus. Even before the pandemic, Trump

had called upon him to devise a peace plan for Israel and Palestine which, once

again, did not work, as Kushner had plans to fault Palestine for the entire


Even though now the United States has improved its response to the

pandemic, nothing can make up for how it botched up during the initial days.

According to a whistle-blower complaint, Kushner has populated his response

team with volunteers who have little to no experience in the problems they were

recruited to solve. They “had little success in helping the government secure

such equipment, in part because none of the team’s members had significant

experience in health care, procurement or supply-chain operations,” the

Washington Post reported.

In reality, as thousands are dying, Kushner is incapable of providing help

as he has no background in public health, just as he has no background in

diplomacy or handling conflicts.

This is a public health emergency and just because a President is too

arrogant to realize his own naivety, he is jeopardizing the lives of millions of


This is what nepotism does. Just because the powerful few want their

friends and relatives to have the best jobs possible, they endanger the lives of

innocent human beings and take away opportunities from those who are

genuinely capable.