Ingratiation and Favoritism in Organizations

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Working paper
Agnieszka Rusinowska, Vassili Vergopoulos
Issue number: 
CES Working Papers
Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne
We combine in the same theoretical framework two related phenomena that can be present in organizations – ingratiation of subordinates and favoritism of superiors towards some of their employees. There are three actors in the model: a worker, a manager supervising the worker, and a firm that employs the worker and the manager. Ingratiation is defined as a strategic behavior of the worker to make himself more attractive to the manager. In our model ingratiation is expressed by opinion conformity which is exerted by the worker when reporting his opinion to the manager. Favoritism of the manager is based on using a bias when reporting to the firm her observation of the worker’s performance. First, we determine the optimal level of the effort and the reported opinion of the worker, and the level of bias of the manager. Then, we investigate the effects of favoritism and ingratiation on the expected wages and utilities of the worker and the manager, and on the expected profit of the firm.
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