Nepotism in the Arab World: An Institutional Theory Perspective

Business Ethics Quarterly 23 (1):69-96 (2013)
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ABSTRACT:We examine the practice of nepotism in the Arab World and analyze how a rational-legal model of bureaucracy was never able to take hold. We draw upon ideas from institutional theory and related notions of legitimacy to provide an explanation of nepotism’s extraordinary persistence. Then we use arguments to speculate how the appearance of institutional entrepreneurs who are advocates for a new hybrid form of nepotism might begin to colonize a social space created by larger political and economic changes that are sweeping the Arab World. Those entrepreneurs must persuade other members of an extended family that the current practice of nepotism is typically destructive of a firm’s competitive performance. In addition, they will argue that nepotism as currently practiced violates teachings of Islam. This second argument is likely to be particularly effective with an audience that sees Islam as a source of universal notions of justice and fairness.



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References found in this work

Islamic ethics and the implications for business.Gillian Rice - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 18 (4):345 - 358.
The Development of International Business Norms.Duane Windsor - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (4):729-754.
Special Issue: "Business Ethics in a Global Economy".Duane Windsor - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (4):729-754.
Business ethics in the middle east.Dove Izraeli - 1997 - Journal of Business Ethics 16 (14):1555-1560.

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