Is nepotism all that bad for retail?
Nepotism has been in the limelight lately as Hollywood stars have had to defend themselves or their children over gaining an unfair advantage from family connections.
The phrase #nepobaby (nepotism baby), steadily trending on social media, calls out and often shames the children of famous actors, sports figures, musicians and other artists whose careers have benefited from their parent’s contacts. In many cases, their talent is questioned amid suspicions their stature is not due to merit.
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, who’s four children have entered the entertainment field, called Hollywood a “family business” while stressing that performance ultimately determines success.
He told Entertainment Tonight, “The shoe industry is a family business. The car industry is a family business. I think my kids are all like Renaissance artists, you know? [They] are good at whatever they choose to be. But the question here is, can you make it stick? You’ve got to have a passion, you’ve got to have a drive. And yeah, our household has existed in the company town that is Los Angeles. Success is a combination of talent, perseverance, drive and no small amount of luck.”
Nepotism is seen as rife in retail with many smaller and some larger stores led by families.
In a recent column for Bloomberg, economist Allison Schrager argues that while there’s a “long history of children running family businesses into the ground,” it’s also an “efficient transfer of valuable human capital.”
Many individuals benefiting from nepotism have honed their skills under the guidance of their parents. He wrote, “There is value in working in the same occupation as your family, and that needn’t be unfair or harmful in an economy where success is not zero sum.”
Mr. Schrager also noted that it has become easier to monitor productivity and competence to ward off the “worst parts of nepotism.”
A recent extensive study from University of Cambridge found having a family CEO in charge, especially in smaller firms, can boost positive emotions in employees and lower turnover. The hereditary claim was seen creating a stronger bond to the business versus hired professional CEOs.
- Open Your Mind to the Benefits of Nepotism – Bloomberg
- Why keeping it in the family can be good news when it comes to CEOs – Phys.org/ University of Cambridge
- Extremely Overanalyzing Hollywood’s Nepo-Baby Boom – New York Magazine
- What Is a ‘Nepotism Baby’? – The New York Times
- Nepotism In The Workplace And Its Negative Impact – Vantage Circle
- Could there be benefits to nepotism? An economist explains – Texas Standard
- Tom Hanks Addresses Nepotism Debate, Defends His Children Working in Entertainment: “This Is a Family Business” – Hollywood Reporter
- Jamie Lee Curtis, ‘OG Nepo Baby,’ says the label is designed to ‘diminish’ and ‘hurt’ – USA Today
- The elephant in retail – Smart Business
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is nepotism at family-run businesses and elsewhere at retail a problem? What’s your thoughts on limiting the downside and capitalizing on the upside of nepotism?