Conference announcement "Nepotism, Conflict of Interests and Business Ethics"


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We are pleased to announce a new conference organised by the Centre for Business ethics entitled “Nepotism, Conflict of Interests and Business Ethics“ which will take place on the 24th, February 2018 at the Faculty of Philosophy and Religion Sciences, University of Zagreb.

Nepotism is an omnipresent phenomenon in all the nations of our planet, regardless of the particular political system. It is evident in United States, North Korea, Cuba, Liberia, South Africa, France, Croatia, etc. We see it in all domains of our productivity, business, politics, religion, art and sports. It almost seems like it is inevitable that common aspiration of “homo sapiens”, “homo faber” to remain close to their family members, even during the working hours; the aspiration towards nepotism. However, such a pursuit is not necessarily accompanied with the care for the one that has been nearby, the one that has been employed thanks to hers/his privileged relations.

State systems that publicly justifies nepotism cannot follow it as a universal principle as there are at least two sound reasons for that. Firstly, nepotism contradicts to application of the golden rule of treating others as one would wish to be treated, rather more practical – the lack of adequate workforce in privileged positions.  Even though there are always those individuals that break down the chain, climb up and reach the high level positions in a nepotistic society, by being clever, bumptious, bold and powerful, their position is not stable. As long as their roots do not become solidly netted one must become at least temporarily a part of the family clan. What is the alternative? 

Nepotistic system ignores talented persons without a family or a friendly tie. Being talented and polite is not a winning formula for desired position. On the other hand, is there a discrimination towards the talents among the relatives of the clan, since they are viewed by nepotistic prism? What happens when forbidden conflict of interest by the law is bad for the nature of the business and respective society?

Why nepotism is not just an option but a fact of social life? What is so good in nepotism that no society can escape it, regardless of the arguments of wisdom? Does this ubiquitous phenomena points out that the family ties are always stronger than social and moral principles that we are publically committed to? Is it a weakness or a human nature? 

What reason prevails in moments of decision to give a friend or a family member particular job or business opportunity over other candidates: i) an irritating duty to family or friends ii) a pressure from family or friends iii) a personal trust in a person iv) a sense of support v) the expansion of own power? While nepotistic worldview is somewhat understandable in privately run businesses, can it be justified by valid arguments at public and government services? What are the successful means for its prevention?

If you wish to present a paper on nepotism and conflict of interests or you wish to participate as an audience, please contact Dr Anita Calvert via email:  Ova e-mail adresa je zaštićena od spam robota, nije vidljiva ako ste isključili JavaScript . There will be no conference fee and the chosen papers will be published as a chapters in a book following the conference. The deadline for all applications is Friday, 15th December 2017

We expect great response from both, presenters and audience and we are looking forward to new discussions on business ethics.

Kind regards,

Conference Organising Committee