Utilitarianism Theory: An Overview
Discuss about the Communication And Management At Work.
In today’s fast pacing business world, corporations focus on generating a competitive advantage by implementing effective human resource management (HRM) policies. The top-level management in enterprises focuses on implementing effective contemporary people management (CPM) strategy for ensuring that they fulfil employees’ requirements which resulted in improving their performance. The human resource management focuses on managing the human capital in an enterprise by assessing their demands and fulfilling them in order to improve their productivity which assist enterprises in achieving corporate objectives (Bolton and Houlihan, 2007). While implementing effective HRM/CPM strategies, organisations face a number of issues which negatively affect the performance of employees and the company as a whole. Corporations face these issues due to factors such as diversity, equality, cultural factors, negative working environment, and others. The HRM strategies also focus on a number of ethical issues relating to workers in order to avoid ethical dilemma at the workplace. The contemporary people management is referred to managing and organising of a group of people operating in the corporation. It is referred to a subset of HRM; both of these factors face ethical issues relating to employees, rewards, recognition, health and safety, remuneration, and benefits (Bratton and Gold, 2017). This essay will focus on analysing the Utilitarian theory for evaluating the principles of ethics and understand its relationship with CPM/HRM. Utilitarianism is an ethical philosophy which provides that happiness of a greater number of people is considered as a greater good. This essay will evaluate the relationship between happiness of employees and the role of HRM/CPM and how they are related with each other.
As per the basic principle of Utilitarianism, promotion of a large number of people’s happiness is the greater good, and it is the ethical goal of this theory. An action or activity is considered as ethical and proportionate if it resulted in promoting and maximising the benefit of human beings. This theory was developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill from the late 18th and 19th century. The primary objective of the theory is to promote the happiness of not just performers but others as well. This theory is different from many other ethical theories because its primary goal is to maximise people’s utility. It provides that people can perform any action that focuses on maximising utility even if the action is taken with a wrong motive (Klikauer, 2012). Although utility is different by experts in various ways however it is generally considered as the wellbeing and happiness of human beings or organisations. The actions which are taken by an individual for promoting happiness does not cause any pain or suffering. Furthermore, the theory is expanded by a number of experts who provided that quantitative terms are not the only way of measuring utility, but there are qualitative terms as well. This theory provides that actions are judged based on their consequences or effects rather than their performance. The utility theory provides that the purpose of morality is to increase the number of good things while at the same time, reducing the number of bad things (Herzog, 2018). In this case, good things are referred as pleasure and happiness whereas the bad things are referred to unhappiness and pain.
Application of Utilitarianism Theory in HRM/CPM
The Utilitarianism theory did not consider moral and ethical code, however, it focuses on factors such as traditions, customs, religion and others. This theory depends on the results and consequences of actions. The theory judges rightness, wrongness, goodness or badness of an action based on its effects and consequences of laws, actions, moral conduct, and policies which are implemented by an individual or enterprise (Gustafson, 2013). The main basis of this theory is the principle of taking actions which produce the best consequences. This theory is based on the “Happiness principle” which determines the morality of an action based on the fact whether it promotes happiness and maximise the utility of human beings and organisations or it promotes unhappiness or pain. The principle did not focus on morality or unethicalness of the action itself until it is promoting right consequences. Although the ‘Happiness principle’ is considered as good in many ways, however, there are many flaws relating to this principle as well. The primary issue with this principle is that it did not comply with the ethical system. It did not consider the effect of actions on third parties (Jones and Felps, 2013). The underline policies of this principle are to maximise happiness and self-welfare even if the actions lead to negatively affecting others. Moreover, the happiness principle did not analyse the future impacts while measuring happiness and morality. It also did not consider the laws which are developed and imposed by the government Thus, the happiness principle of Utilitarianism is considered as one of the best moral theory however it has a number of issues and flows because it did not comply with ethical principles.
In modern organisations, the role of human resource management (HRM) strategies has grown substantially. The HRM is referred to the activities of managing human capital in a corporation. It is divided into specific components which include recruitment and selection, compensation and benefit and job design (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). Its primary objective is to improve the performance of enterprise by positively affecting the productivity of workers. The HRM focuses on recruiting right employees with specific qualifications at the right post and the right time in the company. It also focuses on providing training and development of employees in order to improve their skills and knowledge which resulted in improving their performance. The human resource managers listen to the issues or quarries of employees and resolve them to avoid disputes at the workplace. The employees of an organisation are significant assets of the company; therefore, effective management is required to generate a competitive advantage in the corporation. Contemporary people management (CPM) is referred to management of a group of individuals in an enterprise. It is an extended function of HRM and its main objective to improve the communication channels in a corporation (Klikauer, 2007). It focuses on managing HR practices which resulted in adding value to the enterprise. It manages the contemporary problems, and issues face by employees and the management and the HR manager is responsible for maintaining ethics and humanity at the workplace by maintaining moral conduct and abiding of ethical principles.
Ethical Principles and Utilitarianism in HRM/CPM
Ethical principles and Utilitarianism has a significant impact on HRM and CPM. The ethical and utility theory focuses on human resource management factors relating to outcomes, consequences and ends of employees in a company. The HRM strategies contribute to achieving the primary goal of Utilitarianism theory. For example, the HRM policies focus on maximising the profits of an enterprise by implementing strategies that resulted in improving the performance of employees in order to achieve organisational goals and targets (Christopher, Ogunyomi and Badejo, 2012). The manager focuses on maximising utility and benefit of the organisation, and the employment regulations are based on the utility. These factors often result in causing anxiety and stress for employees because the term of utility is different for employees and the company. Employees’ utility is achieved by the establishment of the positive working environment, fair pay, equality at the workplace, fulfilment of benefit, appropriate reward and training activities and growth opportunities (Beard, 2015). The HRM strategies implemented by the management approach ethical principle are various manners.
In recent years, the role of employees’ happiness and job satisfaction has increased substantially, and HR managers focus on maximising their happiness so that they are encouraged to achieve corporate objectives. These policies are indirectly targeted towards achieving the goals of the organisations and maximising its welfare. The enterprises focus on implementing the principles of business ethics which provide information about actions that are right and wrong and morality of such actions (Bolton and Laaser, 2013). The role of HRM is to ensure that they implement ethical policies at the workplace for maintaining quality and justice among the management and employees. In the Utilitarianism theory, both soft and hard HRM ethical principles are included. In case of hard HRM approach, the employees are treated as machines for fulfilling the targets of the company and increasing its overall welfare. The soft HRM approach considers employees as a crucial part of the organisation and the HR managers focus managing the rights, participation and empowerment of employees (Binkley, 2014). This approach focuses on effectively managing the rights of employees while at the same time also achieving corporate objectives.
Thus, from the above analysis, it can be learnt that there is a clear link between the Utilitarianism theory and the HRM/CRM policies in an enterprise. The theory focuses on implementing actions that resulted in increasing welfare and happiness rather than taking actions which promotes pain and unhappiness. The HRM also aims to fulfil the objective of an enterprise by effectively managing the employees by taking ethical decisions. Effective HRM can contribute to increasing happiness of employees by identifying their issues and addressing them appropriately and rewarding them for their performance. The HRM policies aim at maximising the welfare of organisations while promoting the happiness of employees. The Utilitarian theory provides both hard and soft HRM approaches which are based on different ethical principles. There are many flaws and issues associated with the Utilitarian theory because it does not take into consideration various ethical principles. However, effective implementation of the theory assists the HR managers in promoting the welfare and happiness of employee and the organisation.
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