A Disturbing Practice
One of the most disturbing differences that exists in society and within organizations is the one between two groups identified by cultural scholar Fons Trompenaars: The universalists believe that the same rules should be applied to everyone. The particularists believe that different treatment is allowed and even desirable for certain relationships such as family members, business associates, and friends.
You can see this in the political arena. Some politicians will stick to certain standards and criticize allies and supporters who deviate from those standards. Other politicians will tolerate and even defend behavior by friends and allies that they would have loudly condemned if the same conduct was by an adversary.
The universalists may be too rigid on occasion but the particularists face a greater danger. Their practices destroy credibility in the short term and character in the long.