Universiti Malaya – Wales

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By Abdul Basit

In the current situation, the topic of ‘favouritism’ is widely discussed in all sectors – from education to manufacturing. The inspiration behind this writing is to assess how to manage favouritism in the workplace. The favouritism concept has been widely observed in modern business as one of the challenges to employee commitment and satisfaction.

This concept was openly discussed in the Malaysian context where work opportunities were being filled not because of workers’ capabilities and working background, but instead because of personal recommendation from management and powerful individuals within the organisations (Sadozai et al., 2012). Favouritism promotes negative perceptions and gives the impression of a favoured exchange between two parties, while other hardworking employees are ignored, leading to high turnover.

It is common to see that employees in an organisation show goodwill to employees who share their social identity. For example, if employees are asked to give suggestions and recommendations of promotion in the organisation it is more likely they will intend to endorse ingroup than outgroup members.

This article could benefit Leaders and Human Resource departments to be proactive in dealing with internal policies and procedures as they have the relevant knowledge and decision powers to be fair-minded. This includes implementing guidelines when it comes to hiring friends & family members into the organisation and looking into the promotion of internal staff based on work performance rather than on personal likings and relationships.

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