Coping with Favoritism in Recruitment and Selection: A Communal Perspective

Jasper J. Hotho, Dana Minbaeva, Maral Muratbekova-Touron, Larissa Rabbiosi

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We examine how recruiting managers cope with communal norms and expectations of favoritism during recruitment and selection processes. Combining insights from institutional theory and network research, we develop a communal perspective on favoritism that presents favoritism as a social expectation to be managed. We subsequently hypothesize that the communal ties between job applicants and managers affect the strategies that managers employ to cope with this expectation. We test these ideas using a factorial survey of the effects of clan ties on recruitment and selection processes in Kazakhstan. The results confirm communal ties as antecedents to the strategies managers use to cope with communal favoritism. Surprisingly, the results also show that these coping strategies are relatively decoupled from managers’ recruitment decisions. The findings contribute to favoritism research by drawing attention to the mitigating work of managers in societies in which
favoritism is common.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)659-679
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Business ethics
  • Communities
  • Favoritism
  • Human resource management
  • Institutional logics
  • Recruitment and selection

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