Relatives = Compassion = Organizational Decay

If I have a Choice I would never work for an organization where Dads sign cheques, the Son Chairs  a Meeting and a Daughter has to finalize the recruitment.

Organizational Politics is harmful but Relatives in Organizations Can be more harmful.

In many large scale companies one of the laws set by their Human Resources Team is that no relatives or no relatives in one department. In my opinion even this does not serve the purpose. Honest Fathers or Uncles are a rear specie.

Businesses fail when they are operated as a family. In many state governed organizations of Pakistan I have observed hiring through relative quota. Resultantly many incapable sons were given positions which needed more capable people.

I am not against relatives being hired on Merit but its very delicate and intricate chapter. Take for instance example of an army where we find a son or a daughter joining his father’s unit or regiment. But we need to understand, no son replaces a General as General Directly. Everyone has to pass through that rut of Training, Hard Area Postings, Courses, rank structure and only then there are chances that you would grow to that position your father was once. Those who do not perform are weeded out or left behind without much of the influences from their kith. Before I close on this example I would like to admit that there are still some acceptable compassion but almost negligible enough to be accounted.

Now take example of a political party which actually should run through an ideology, referendum, internal democracy and leadership through experience. If Politicians continue to patronize their university kids as there immediate replacements; they would surely loose trust of their colleagues and then their voters and the result will be disaster. Zardari’s  cannot be Bhutto and Bhutto’s Cannot be Zardari. Ijaz ul Haq should not be dealt as Zia ul Haq and Hamza Shareef cannot work like Shahbaz Shareef. These are just a few examples from Pakistan. The Senior Bush was a different Person than Bush Junior. And so are Many Others. Unfortunately, where merit, seniority and experience is not respected, those political organizations surely end up in a quagmire. Charismatic Leaders did not produce Charismatic Children because they were working for a public cause and not family training program.

In business organization or Companies appointing relatives means adding another job description for yourself. One of the biggest irony with humans is that our relatives expect more from us than they actually deserve. The result is we continue to see ups and downs in human relations. Organizations like PIA, Pakistan Steel, WAPDA, Pakistan Railways, National Bank and many others where family quota works  are some of the finest case studies. In my own judgement Organization where Family Quota Works No-one else works. Imagine a family marriage in which all family members have to be present and they all work at pivotal positions in an organization. Imagine all of them applying for a leave or a marriage being held in the company on company expense. company vehicles being used, the guest houses, the halls, the contractors, the waiters, the security staff and may be a welfare scheme for a honey moon arrangement. I know tens of directors and CEO’s who advocate “no compassion policy” but cannot resist hiring a relative of their beautiful secretary. Many of them change their logics for avoiding or diluting an argument.  Some of these CEOs would talk about terms like CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility, Employee Welfare, Intern ship Training Programmes, Training the Future Generation. They would give you an impression that their organization would transform any Tom, Dick or Harry into a world class professional after giving him an opportunity to get trained in their organization.

In the garb of this they actually hire few of their nephews and some of their nieces. The Unfortunate part is that these nephews and nieces right from their day one expect the CEO’s Protocol. In many cases even if they don’t expect they start getting it. In very few cases CEO’s are not responsible. But what i am more worried about, is the impact of all this kith and kin game on organizational work behaviour and the response/feelings of other employees. Do they stay motivated? The answer with me is a big NO.

Organizations and Companies must not advocate hiring through compassion, blood relations or influences because an influence is something that magnifies if we allow it to flourish.

I remember working for this multi national company Tuwairqi Steel Mills as an Admin & IR Manager. One fine morning we learnt that a group of workers have tried beating a construction Manager. I rushed to the scene, used all the tools of crisis management that i had learnt in life and diluted the scene with in 10-15 minutes. Later we wanted to have an analysis. And look what comes up… A Worker who was not supposed to use a mobile while working at height was checked by this construction manager…..he dealt him with an angry out burst…..took his mobile from him and while trying to take it away from him it fell down and broke……worker was passing through some family turmoil and was not in a very good mood…….he had more than 10-15 relatives (Cousins, uncles, nephews as co workers) they all gathered in support of him and were ready to beat the Construction Manager. Here i am not getting into ifs and buts or what the construction manager should have done or not? but to me the idea of keeping number of blood relations or relatives in a company or an organization doesn’t actually works well.

I would appreciate comments and inputs from those who read this to further improve upon my understanding of organizational Management.

Written by Captain Zahid Faqir (Retired) MSIR & MSPS presently working for a 560 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant in Karachi Pakistan. You may read and comment on my write-ups at or


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