A considerable quantity of literature has been published attempting to evaluate the impact of discrimination and inequality within society. Studies revealed the deleterious outcome of segregation because of a desire to bond with self-similar individuals or the so-called 'homosociality' (Friberg, 2012; Hudson et al., 2017). Similarly, there are relatively numerous historical and recent studies in the area of in-group favoritism which may occurs unconsciously (Meyer and Schvaneveldt, 1971, 1976; Neely, 1977; Posner and Snyder, 1975) or consciously (Dovidio et al., 1986, 1997, 2002; Fazio et al., 1995; 2001; McConnell and Leibold, 2001). Several kinds of the literature demonstrated the necessity of eliminating the prejudice working environment status in the modern multicultural/multinational marketplace (Noon, 2010; Catney and Sabater, 2015; De Luca et al., 2018). Hence, many movements take action such as the social justice movement, which in the last decades resulted in extensive adjustment of rules and regulations committed to civil rights and administrate civil society (Albert and Albert, 1984; Chong, 1991; Cruikshank, 1992; D'Emilio, 1983; Gitlin, 1987; Levy, 1992; Vaid, 1990; Williams, 1987). The most recent development alliance in bringing justice in the UK was the Equality Act 2010 aimed at protecting the nation in the marketplace from discrimination.
Correspondently, nepotism is a historically known phenomenon that has been in the center of several disciplines' investigation such as sociology, psychology, politics, history, religion, and economics (Bettencourt and Brown, 2003; Kellermanns and Eddleston, 2004; Sidani and Thornberry, 2013; Jaskiewicz et al., 2013). Individuals having different nationalities, linguistic, tribal and religious backgrounds tend to bond more among themselves. Existing research recognizes the critical role of nepotism in the structure of the business on a broader scale of the economy (Jaskiewicz et al., 2013). Nepotism in the business world occurs when employment is based on family relations instead of skills and qualification (Yeung, 2000). Some evidence suggests this will unenthusiastically affect business effectiveness (Vinton, 1998), weakens the performance (Dyer, 2006), and harms business durability and economic stability (Salvato & Melin, 2008).
Similarly, HR management and job satisfaction are negatively affected by the practice of nepotism (Arasli et al., 2006). On the other hand evidence in global studies has shown the effects of nepotism are not comparable in all countries. For example, in China, Japan, and Thailand while the level of practicing nepotism is high; however the evidence does not demonstrate harmful impact on the economy (Gill & Kharas, 2007). In fact, in contrast, numerous studies argue the positive influence of nepotistic acts such as employing family and relatives (Bellow, 2003; Hooker, 2009). These advantages include enhancing the talents of the family member, building a pleasant business environment, effective communication and superior devotion to the family business (Ibid).
Many researchers have investigated the service employees' crucial roles that influence an organization's image (Wilder et al., 2012; Gounaris and Boukis, 2013). Likewise, researchers show interest in investigating the impact of service employees' emotions while interacting with their customers (Pugh 2001; Tsai and Huang 2002; Verbeke 1997), and the antecedents of frontline employees' behaviors (Harris and Ogbonna, 2002; Reynolds and Harris, 2006). In the similar field, evidence has shown service providers have the prospect to execute nepotistic actions since customers interpret emotions in the transactional moments (Price and Arnould, 1999). Specifically, psychological literature revealed precipitation in slight nepotism where a hint of commonality appears among minorities groups (Cialdini, 2009; Burger et al., 2004). In fact, the nepotistic acts' ambitious are shown not always to be rooted in familial affiliation and friendship; however it might merely drive from sensing a similarity with a stranger, building an episodic relationship in a transient social interaction, whereas it is beyond the recognized definition term of nepotism (Sarpong and Maclean, 2017). Exceeding the boundaries to favor a stranger beyond having friendship and relative relationship, or even having reciprocity intention, may seem like a humble act, whereas it might be the result of the nepotistic action when its incentive rise from sharing a similar-identity.
The sense of finding a shared identity such as ethnicity could be recognized by the style of dresses, language or physical mark (Korschun et al., 2014). Cova and Cova, (2001) brought the consumer and employee relation in postmodern society to attention. They perceived a 'neo-tribal' behavior between employees and customers, beyond the old relationship. Brewer and Gaertner, (2008) revealed that psychological examination reveals higher levels of trustiness among intergroup compared to out-group individuals. Iindividuals showed preference to allocate monopoly and resources to intergroup members more than to out-groupers. However, only a few studies examine the aspect of frontline service providers going beyond their authorization. Areas where they jeopardize their career and organization norms to assure they provide excellent service to particular foreign customers with no rationale except a feeling and sense of shared identity (Rosenbaum et al., 2012; Sarpong and Maclean, 2015; Sarpong and Maclean, 2017). This behavior differs from the frontline service provider, favoring friends and relatives, which is known as 'sweet heartening' (Brady et al., 2012).
In particular, the front line employee through his or her instant interaction with customers may identify a sense of sameness; a sense of belonging to a collective social group, which Korschun et al., (2014) called 'employee-customer identification.' The similar-self-identity concept motivates the employee in question to satisfy the customer, and in turn, gain some satisfaction too. The evidence reviewed here seems to suggest an applicable prospect for frontline employees' nepotistic behavior in a transient interaction with customers who they share similar socio-collective identity whereas first labeled as 'service nepotism' by Rosenbaum and Walsh (2012).
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