Your field director’s nephew is coming to teach at the international school for a year. Knowing that a long-term family will be returning to their passport country for a year, the field director assigns his nephew’s family to their beautiful, large home for that year. If he does this, no one else will have to move unnecessarily. When the field director asks if you think that is a good idea, you agree that it is.
About a month later another family serving with you is really angry that the field director showed so much favoritism to his nephew. This family had already served three years of their four-year term, and they had hoped they could move into that beautiful home which was so much larger—and it had a pool as well. They start complaining about the blatant nepotism shown by the field director.
What is nepotism?
Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward relatives based on that relationship rather than on objective factors such as ability or merit. For example, nepotism would be hiring a person with a master’s degree in fashion design as an elementary principal because she is the niece of the school board chairman rather than hiring an applicant with a doctoral degree in education who has taught elementary school for a decade.
This family-based favoritism over competence often leads to low morale, low productivity, and a seeming lack of integrity to some.