Favouritism – the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another.
Favouritism in India is a widely accepted phenomenon with political families ruling us and Bollywood families entertaining us. ‘Quid pro quo’ has become a norm where we exchange favours and consider it a normal part of being in a social or professional relationship.
Have you ever asked for a favour from your family member or friend? Ever put in a good word for someone who is very dear to you? Got something done quickly and cheaply with the help of some powerful connection?
Now, if your answer is yes, then I would argue that the politicians, industrialists and Bollywood stars are also following a similar ‘Quid pro quo’ mantra. As they are public facing people and organizations, they come under the strict scrutiny of media and people are quick to term it as ‘Corruption’. This corruption has been often described as the major hindrance in the progress of our country. Now, is this form of corruption done only by these elites or by us also in our daily lives?
The favouritism in business and our professional lives, which we conveniently describe as a part of ‘Networking’, has become the most important ingredient for success. Networking gets you jobs, it gets you promotions, it gets you clients and it gets you funds for your start-up. But these networks tend to concentrate among the top few, which ultimately keeps the most disadvantaged in society disadvantaged. There is a concentration of power and resources and people out of this network are unable to catch up. A simple example is the Alumni network of premier institutes, where we enjoy healthy advantage with respect to others.
But, people argue that networking is necessary to make the businesses efficient. Finding the best person for the job is not an easy job and companies cannot waste their money in search for the best talent available in the market. They also argue that they need strong business relationships to run a company with limited resources, and these relationships can sometime drive favouritism.
We call it corruption when people obtain political appointments based on who they know. It is for you to decide if it is okay to encourage this same practice in the business world?
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