Human Resource Management (HRM) has been defined as a function of trade that was linked with the day to day relations which subsists among groups of individuals in their capability as a worker, employer or manager. It was also regarded as the study of managing individuals in a specified method in the corporations. But in an organization, there has been a number of ethical issues which may prevail but in the subsequent essay only three key ethical issues which mostly was seen and observed in a corporation would be dealt in (Greenwood, 2002).
So, in the subsequent essay 3 major ethical issues such as privacy of employees, compensation & skill and equal opportunity would be discussed with the relevance of the same under the well-known theories of ethics of utilitarian and deontological theory. Also, the management of the performance of the workers of the organization makes it clear that how a person or group or people were initiated into the corporation and managed while they were there as they experienced the same.
When the above mentioned 3 central aspects of the HRM were proposed efficiently the corporation profits from a management system that supplements the constant competitive benefit of the corporation. A crucial part of planning these aspects efficiently wants deliberation of ethical concerns. Although, HRM is presently going by a quick professionalization. Its experts have come across trade ethics alternatives and their outcomes on the daily basis while they were engaged in working in an organization (Armstrong, 2008).
Ethical dilemmas in HRM could then be observed as a multifaceted problem which includes private, specialized and organizational considerations (Garber, 2008). Ethics in frequent times fall by the edge when a number of corporations do not have an actual value-based mores from the beginning and until the manner which was followed till the end would be followed (Zheng, 2017). It was characteristically HR management that was known to be called in order to get implicated when this takes place (Tutorials Point, 2017).
But there have been a number of issues which could occur in HRM such as toleration of sexual harassment, employing unlawful migrant people intentionally, contravention of confidentiality, prejudiced performance appraisals, contraventions on salary ; work timings for the matter of saving ultimate salary, execution of whistle-blowers for the purpose that they were completely unconnected to performance, and bearable unfairness but more unimportant problems such as deceitful for the matter of private, corporate and shareholders advantage (Scott, 2017).
Though it was emerged out that a fundamental subject in all the HR-included workplace problems was defined as a culture of management that endorses ethical unawareness or at the very slightest point it intentionally invites an action to occur even when the corporation executes a lawful Code of Ethics (Bamberger and Meshoulam, 2000).
As defined earlier that the ethical and moral problems were defined to be a way more complex. Though by thinking throughout whose wellbeing was to be included and what outcomes would have an effect on the actions of the shareholders, workers, consumers were not simple (Greenwood, 2007).
Therefore, it could be stated that the culture of a corporation could be at odds with what was the best thing to do for HR executives. But when conflict happens, the HR executive must be skilled at making once mind up in regard to the conflicts which prevails among the demands of the corporation’s culture and those of principled acts.
It has been observed that there have been certain major problems which an organization deals with in the event of handling ethical issues in the workplace diversifically. But there have been 3 issues which would be dealt in this essay.
The first one was equal opportunity. The HR executives must on a regular basis check the hiring practices of the organization in order to guarantee that there was no prejudice in the hiring procedure which was based on mores, sexual orientation, race and disability. Although, merely enduring with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rulings which do not make sure the ethical acts of an individual.
For example, recently in Australia in the year 2016, under the national and state laws it was included that equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination at the place of working order to create a workplace free from any unfairness and annoyance. It was also stated that an employer, must comprehend that what could be the rights and responsibilities of the people under human rights and anti-discrimination law. So, there must be effectual anti-discrimination and anti-harassment processed in place in a trade which would improve efficiency and increase competence.
As taking on individuals facing restrictions to employment would often be overlooked by employers and could be a constructive manner of diversifying the skill which was outlined within a trade. There were also certain funding and incentive ideas available for trades that support individuals whether male or female with a disability, Indigenous Australians, and grant equal status to them, many more (Wiley, 2017).
Privacy was the second issue which was always a sensitive matter for a HR executive. Though a corporations culture which may be gracious, open and could inspire workers in order to generously talk about private details and standard of living of the people. Although, it was the HR executive who has an ethical obligation in order to keep such matters private. This particularly comes into play when the opposing corporation calls for a reference on a worker. As, to continue to be ethical, HR executives must be obligated with the job related facts and leave out the acquaintance of a worker’s private lifestyle (Holland, Sheehan, and Pyman, 2017).
For example, currently mail scanning has been regarded as one of the major actions which were utilized in order to track the activities of a worker who was assumed to be employed in acts that were not in the superior advantage of the corporation.
Compensation and skills of an individual who works also was the other issue which prevails in the area of HRM. It was the HR executive who could suggest compensation to be provided to a worker. While these suggestions may be founded on the basis of a salary range which was provided for each position, ethical predicaments which takes place when it comes to compensating the workers diversely for the similar skills (Chadwick, 2005).
The examples of employee compensation could be regarding pay, Health reimbursement, 401(k) (retirement plans), Vacation time, Sick leave, etc.
Corporations were though bound by the law in order to treat the individuals which they engage reasonably and not to differentiate against any identified group of people. Similarly, some legislations were made which were defined as a codification of the recognized moral main beliefs, and acts in order to have certain reasonable standards which prevail within a society as it was specifically mentioned that ‘the maximum good of the maximum number’. But, in conformity with relation to all the lawful necessities does not automatically make sure that the best treatment of workers. The law itself may not be fair-haired; it may not include all eventualities; and it may not until the end of time propose a clear guide in order to take action.
Ethics were regarded as a chief limb of viewpoint, which was related specifically with analyzing what was correct or incorrect in behavior or conduct of the people. Though, ethics and morals were defined as the specified conditions that were more frequently utilized interchangeably in discussions of superior and iniquity manner (Greenwood, 2002).
Although, there have been certain major issues and approaches with regard to ethics but in this essay with regard to the issues which were mentioned above there have been a number of well-known theories.
As in order to give assurance about the viability of the trade, it was essential to amend the practice of HRM with trade. HRM practices of corporation’s plays a crucial role in universal achievement or failure of the trade in long run. On the other hand, the practices of a trade also play a primary role that must be related with the HRM practices. For instance, the trade practices which replicate the vision and operation of the corporation. In comparison to this, HRM practices would be proposed in order to achieve the confirmed dream and job. To adapt the HRM practices of the corporation with the trade practices, community recruitment would then be utilized (Jack, Greenwood and Schapper, 2012).
But in the present time, social networking websites would be utilized in order to take on the workers (The Conversation, 2013). It would assist in draw the applicants who were competent to do the trade activities with competence. HRM practices would be also inculcated as per the information which was attained on trade related actions of the firm. For example, if the dream of the corporation was founded on modernism, the HRM practices of the corporation would be aimed to hire those workers, who were competent enough in order to inculcate imaginative beliefs that were good in order to produce innovative trade solutions.
The consequentialist or the utilitarisnism approach was the first approach which was developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill mutually. It recommended specifically that the principles of an act which were strong-minded by its consequences that individuals should do that which would bring about the furthermost efficacy to the greatest number which was pretentious by a provided situation.
In human resource management in regard to the ethical issues defined above i.e. privacy, equal opportunity and compensation and skill this theory was pertinent in designing strategies in order to grant workplace justice to both man and women and privacy solely because of their instrumental worth helps them in increasing competence and effectiveness which was correspondingly rooted in utilitarianism. As it also made policies to be made for determining their competence and skill of the workers as engage them in work according to their competency.
The second principle, namely the principle of corporate rights, states that “the corporation and its managers may not violate the legitimate rights of others to determine their own future”. This principle is drawn from the deontological ethical theory of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) based on the respect-for-persons principle that persons should be treated as ends and never only as means (Bratton and Gold, 2012).
This principle was drawn from the deontological ethical theory of Immanuel Kant on the basis of the respect for individual’s principle that people should be treated as ends and never only as means (Van Buren and Greenwood, 2013).
This theory also have the relevance in determining the ethical issues which were defined above such as equal opportunity, privacy and competence and skill on the basis that the contentious problem of drug testing in the workplace as often modelled as a fight among an the right to privacy which was granted to the worker and another employee’s right to a safe work environment due to core competence. It also has made certain provisions for providing equal opportunity to both men and women and observes that there was no discrimination in a workplace. As if these types of contradictory principles were not negotiable, then it would impossible to not do wrong. Though, deontologists believe that these were extraordinary terms and that they do not challenge an otherwise reliable moral theory (Greenwood, 2013).
Kant’s objectives were to institute a set of unqualified moral regulations which were developed by way of the application of reason. He also put forward an acid test for appraising the eminence of moral laws and this would be defined as the uncompromising essential element. This specifies that: ‘It ought never to happen in order to act or except in such a manner that it could also be simplified in a manner that the maxim should turn out to be a universal law’ (Pinnington, Macklin and Campbell, 2007).
According to another approach of justice and fairness to ethics has its foundation in the teachings of Rawls and Nozick as according to them equals should be treated similarly and unequals unequally. As per the provided ruling it has a basic influence on the issues in HRM such as equal opportunity as female and males must be granted equal status. Rawl’s proposed a theory of justice and fairness. And as a result it impacted the ethical issues which prevail in an organization i.e. equal opportunity and equal rights to the people with granting them right to have privacy. And Nozick also gave a principle of justice which was founded on the idea of privileges and rights, equal pay and privilege of right as a result of which it could be stated that it also had an impact on the issues..
There was also a rights approach of Kant which focused on the individual privileges granted to them in order to choose for an individual. As it was stated that individuals were not merely objects to be influenced it was a contravention of human self-esteem in order to utilize individuals in manners which they do not freely opt. It includes the privacy rights, equality as people have a privilege to get what has been promised.
Normative ethical relativism on the other hand has been defined as a theory which states that there were no generally legitimate moral ethics. It also states that the ethical appropriateness and injustice of behavior differentiates from community to community and that there were no total universal moral principles binding on all individuals. But there have been certain challenges to this for the same such as there were no widespread moral criteria, cultures have their own ideas about ethics, etc.
So, at the end it has been concluded that the theories have a direct or indirect effect on the issues which arise and have taken place in HRM in Australia. Another very persuasive interpretation stems from observing different individuals as having basic human rights. In this view, there was acknowledgment of a fundamental set of human rights. As a result, it was stated that where a human right subsists within a work place for the workers then there must also be an obligation or responsibility on them in order to distinguish, support and acknowledge the specific right which was provided to them.
Armstrong, M. (2008) Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action. (4th ed). (USA: Kogan Page Publishers).
Bamberger, P.A. and Meshoulam, I. (2000) Human Resource Strategy: Formulation, Implementation, and Impact. (USA: SAGE).
Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2012) Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Chadwick, C. (2005) The vital role of strategy in strategic human resource management education. Human Resource Management Review, 15(3), 200-213.
Garber, P.R. (2008). The Ethical Dilemma. (USA: Human Resource Development).
Greenwood, M. (2007) Ethics and human resource management. Human Resource Management in Australia 3e, 562-587.
Greenwood, M. (2013) Ethical analyses of HRM: A review and research agenda. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(2), 355-366.
Greenwood, M.R. (2002) Ethics and HRM: a review and conceptual analysis, Journal of Business Ethics, 36(3), 261–278.
Greenwood, M.R. (2002) Ethics and HRM: A review and conceptual analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 36(3), 261-278.
Holland, P., Sheehan, C. and Pyman, A. (2017) Attracting and Retaining Talent: Exploring Human Resources Development Trends in Australia. [Online] Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. Available from: https://www.anzam.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf-manager/1974_HOLLANDPETER_129.PDF [Accessed on 11/3/17]
Jack, G., Greenwood, M. and Schapper, J. (2012) Frontiers, intersections and engagements of ethics and HRM. Journal of business ethics, 111(1), 1-12.
Pinnington, A., Macklin, R. and Campbell, T. (2007) Introduction: ethical human resource management. Human Resource Management: Ethics and Employment, 1.
Scott, S. (2017) Ethical Issues Facing HR. [Online] Chron. Available from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-issues-facing-hr-10821.html [Accessed on 11/3/17]
The Conversation. (2013) Social media puts HR ethics under the spotlight. [Online] The Conversation. Available from: https://theconversation.com/social-media-puts-hr-ethics-under-the-spotlight-14208 [Accessed on 11/3/17]
Tutorials Point. (2017) HRM - Ethical Issues. [Online] Tutorials Point. Available from: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/human_resource_management/human_resource_management_ethical_issues.htm [Accessed on 11/3/17]
Van Buren, H.J. and Greenwood, M. (2013) Ethics and HRM education. Journal of Academic Ethics, 11(1), 1-15.
Wiley. (2017) The human resource management function — employee relations. [Online] Wiley. Available from: https://www.wiley.com/legacy/Australia/PageProofs/BUS_MAN/3_4/c06TheHumanResourceManagementFunction-EmployeeRelations_WEB.pdf [Accessed on 11/3/17]
Zheng, K. (2017) What Are the Ethical Issues in Human Resource Management in Multinational Corporations?. [Online]Chron. Available from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-issues-human-resource-management-multinational-corporations-55821.html [Accessed on 11/3/17]