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Types Of Ties: Do People Perceive The Fairness Of Nepotistic Hiring Differently When The Hiring Is Based On a Family, Friend Or Acquaintance Tie?
Keywords: hiring, nepotism, information access, information processing, fairness
Abstract: Nepotism is generally defined as using family influence to employ relatives (Jones, 2004) and, as such, is perceived as an unfair way of hiring. Yet, nepotistic hiring can be also based on non-family ties, such as a friendship or acquaintance (Bellow, 2003). We theorize that the type of tie in nepotistic hiring will affect perceptions of fairness. Specifically, we propose that people’s beliefs about how others process information and how much information others access about the nepotee vary based on type of tie, which in turn affects fairness perceptions. In two studies (N=362), we find that the more biased people believe others are toward the tie, the less fair hiring the tie would be. Additionally, we demonstrate that the more information people believe others have about the tie, the fairer hiring the tie would be. Together, beliefs about information amount and biased information processing relate to fairness perceptions of nepotism.