Effects of kin density within family-owned businesses

Jennifer L. Spranger, Stephen M. Colarelli, Nikolaos Dimotakis, Annalyn C. Jacob, Richard D. Arvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We examined how kin density within family-owned firms related to perceptions of nepotism and organizational justice; we also examined the moderating role of family membership in these relationships. In a sample of 79 family employees and 299 non-family employees in 21 family-owned businesses, both kin density and family membership were found to be related to nepotism perceptions. Additionally, family membership moderated the relationships of kin density to nepotism and justice perceptions, as well as the relationship between nepotism and justice perceptions. Finally, nepotism perceptions provided a partial mediating link between kin density and organizational justice perceptions. These results suggest that kin density and family membership are important variables to consider in understanding the experiences and attitudes of employees in family-owned businesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Family business
  • Kin density
  • Nepotism
  • Organizational justice


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