Date of Graduation

Summer 2016


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Robert Jones


Nepotism refers to the practice of giving preferential treatment to family members and is prohibited in some work organizations. Common anti-nepotism policies are often based on the unsubstantiated assumption that family relationships negatively affect performance. This study challenges this assumption with the hypothesis that family relationships improve team performance. The theoretical basis for this hypothesis is grounded in the literature examining team processes. Research suggests that coordination is an important team process, and that family members coordinate more effectively than non-family members. Thus, it is reasonable to suspect that familial relationships in teams will lead to better – rather than worse team performance. To test this hypothesis, over 100 years of performance data from 477 men's college basketball teams were analyzed. Results suggest that familial relationships in teams is positively related to better team performance.


team performance, family relationships, coordination, nepotism, organizational policy, selection, basketball

Subject Categories



© Erick P. Briggs

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons