Influence of leaders’ authentic competences on nepotism-favouritism and cronyism

Akuffo, Isaac orcid iconORCID: 0009-0002-0870-7564 and Kivipõld, K (2019) Influence of leaders’ authentic competences on nepotism-favouritism and cronyism. Management Research Review, 43 (4). pp. 369-386. ISSN 2040-8269

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The purpose of this study is to explore how an authentic leader’s internal (self-regulation, self-awareness and internalised moral perspective) and external competencies (relational transparency and balance processing) influence nepotism, favouritism and cronyism (NFC).

The study used a quantitative research approach and respondents were sampled from private and public banks across the ten regions of Ghana using survey questionnaires. Overall, 127 branch managers and 997 subordinates were sampled. The collected data were analysed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and multiple regression was used to explore the influence the of authentic leadership (AL) competences on NFC.

On leader’s internal competences, the results revealed that self-awareness had a significant decreasing influence on nepotism in terms of operations, while internalised moral perspective had a significant increasing influence on favouritism in the context of position. Self-regulation did not have any significant influence on NFC. Regarding the leader’s external competences, relational transparency had a significant positive influence on favouritism and nepotism, while balance processing had a significant negative influence on favouritism and nepotism in the context of position and operations, respectively.

Research limitations/implications
The results suggest that AL competences have a mixed influence on NFC in the context of this study. However, the findings are limited to Ghana and cannot be generalised to countries that do not share a similar culture with Ghana such as countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and even certain countries in Africa.

Practical implications
The authors advise family businesses to use free and fair measures to appoint or promote employees who have the required skills to manage the office rather than appointing family members to positions without merit. Training on AL and NFC should be conducted for managers to enable them to understand the potential negative effects of NFC on the employees and the organisation at large.

Social implications
Laws must be passed to guard against appointments or recruitments of employees in the public sector organisations based on NFC to minimise these unethical behaviours.

This is the first study which empirically explores AL competences influence on the leaders’ behaviour in the context of NFC.

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