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Favoritism in Workplace Promotions Widespread, Study Says

October 8, 2011 Comments off

Favoritism in Workplace Promotions Widespread, Study Says (PDF)
Source: Penn Schoen Berland

A study released today by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business indicates that connections and relationships play a significant role in employee promotions despite policies and procedures at most companies designed to lower the impact of non-objective assessment and despite general acknowledgment that such favoritism leads to bad decision making.

The vast majority of senior business executives surveyed (92 percent) say they have seen favoritism at play in employee promotions, including at their own companies (84 percent). But while nearly all see favoritism as widespread, many fewer (23 percent) are willing to admit they have practiced favoritism themselves – and only 9 percent say they have used favoritism in their last promotion decision.

Favoritism thrives despite procedures that 72 percent of respondents say their companies follow to make the promotions process more objective, and general agreement by 83 percent that favoritism leads to poorer decisions.

Survey respondents tended to define favoritism as giving preferential treatment to employees based on factors other than qualifications and performance, such as friendship or connections.

Link to full survey results in press release.

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