Business ethics are the moral doctrines that direct the way to business behave. Business ethics determines the actions of every individual that distinguish the right or wrong (Business Case Studies, 2018). Every business organization must develop the codes of conduct and ethics that should be followed by all the members. Ethics can be taken as the crucial way to self-presentation and public perception of the organization. Ethics in human resource management is related to the employee’s issues. Human resource management plays an important role in setting up and implementing ethics in the workplace. Implementation of ethics in the workplace has been one of the challenging tasks for the organization. Various human resources issues can be handled properly by the application of ethics and code of practices by the managers in the workplace. Ethics generally determine what is right and what is wrong. With the help of business ethics, proper allocation and maintenance of employee in the workplace will be possible.
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The main purpose of this essay is to present the ethics practices management of human resources within the organization. The aim and objectives of this essay are to focus on the ethical concern in human resource management with relevant theories. The essay sketches the ethical aspects of human resource management. It highlights the ethical issues and challenges faced by the companies in human resource management.
The ethical concern in Human resource management
Human resource management plays a vital role in the organization while dealing with workplace issues. As human resource management deals with the management of human resources in the workplace, the issues related with the human resource must be focused by the top level management. The major ethical issues that have to be deal by the human resource management are a concern with the privacy issues, cash and compensation plan, employment issues, safety issues, race and disability, performance appraisal and employee’s responsibility (Johnston, 2018). Each and every employee is important for the organization to achieve the stated goal so the issues related with the manpower must be identified on time for the better performance (Greenwood and Freeman, 2011). In a workplace, there will be a good and bad work performance with the application of right ethical theory the human issues can be managed. For the effective outcomes, all the employees must be treated ethically. Employment issues are the general issues faced by the organization as an individual belongs to different background, culture, religion, and races. So, hiring an employee creates a dilemma for the HR managers. The presentation of fake documents during the time of hiring may cause a problem in the future so, ethical action is the most essential aspects that should be adopted by both parties. HR manager must provide an equal opportunity and treatment for the individual while hiring.
Another human resource management issue is related to privacy. All the employees in the organization have their own personal life. The information may be related to religion, social beliefs and many more. An employee wants to maintain the privacy within the organization so they want the direct and indirect protection from the company. So, without the permission of employee privacy should not be leaked. Such an unethical act should not be conducted by the organization. Most of the time people are treated badly in the workplace in the name of race, gender, and disability. The ethics-based organization should not focus on discrimination while the employees should be appreciated for their contribution to the organization (De Gama, McKenna, and Peticca-Harris, 2012). Similarly, an employee should be compensated on the basis of their performance. A company must have an effective compensating plan for their employees. The general ethical issues involved while managing the human resource is related to the salaries, executive benefits, and compensation including the annual incentives, flexible working hours, holidays and many more. Compensating the employee for their contribution is one of the ethics that can be adopted by the organization. This action increases the morale of employees and increases performance. Along with the other responsibilities safety of employees is also one of the burning issues of human resource management. Employee’s safety in the workplace is the ethical as well as the human right that should be provided by the organization. It is one of the sensitive factors that cannot be avoided by the organization to their employees (Janssens and Steyaert, 2009).
For the effective management of human resource in the workplace, ethics must be considered by the managers. Effective implementation of the ethic helps in controlling the human resources in a right way. Without the ethics in the workplace, there will not be the better performance rather it will decrease the morale of the employee and gradually increase the turnover in the organization. Thus, for the satisfaction of the employee within the organization, the business ethics is essential to adopt by the company. Ethical demand in the workplace is the concern of the human resource management in the present context (Jack, Greenwood, and Schapper, 2012). Ethics in the workplace provides employee’s right and well-being. Since, the success or failure of the business totally depends upon the ethical behavior shown by the managers in the organization. For the success of the organization, management must adopt the consistence ethical behavior to all the employees in the workplace. The ethical behavior of managers in workplace changes the behavior of the employee such as a change in attitude, interest and get motivated to perform the activities.
Application of Ethical theories in the human resource management
Within the organization, several human resource issues have to be faced by the human sources managers that are concerned with the ethics. An employee can give their best when the needs and demands are fulfilled as well as when they are treated ethically. Employees in the workplace may belong to different background and culture. Equal opportunity and treatment for the employees is the common issue that must be regularly monitored by the company. For the better performance and the better result, the managers must show the ethical behavior to the employees. The ethical issues related to human resources must be solved on time. The ethical behavior must be maintained within an organization (Frey and Wellman, 2008). For instance, Justin is the boss of the organization where Anna is the office manager. Janet is the receptionist in that organization. Under the supervision of the Anna, Janet performs her activities and Janet is a hardworking and good employee. Janet is going through a rough time due to the divorce so to fulfill the financial requirement she used to perform in the theater which is not liked by her boss. The performance of Janet in the organization is appreciable but due to dislike, Anna was asked to terminate Janet from the work within the next 30 days by writing a negative appraisal. Anna is in a dilemma that whether she goes with the boss and terminate Janet from job or fight for the Janet (Society for Human Resource Management, 2010). The example of Janet reflects the importance of ethics in the workplace. As Janet is a good employee and her performance is better than others the boss should not behave unethical behavior with her. In such a situation, ethics play a vital role in providing justice for the right one. Ethics in the workplace is very important to implement for building a fair workplace for all employees.
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The decision making in the organization must be based on the theories related to the ethics. An appropriate decision can be taken with the help of various ethical theories. As solving the human issues within the organization is a very challenging task with the help of ethics and codes of conduct the problem can be solved easily. The issues may be related to cash and compensation, safety, employee performance appraisal, race, gender and disability, and employee responsibility. These issues can be minimized by the application of ethical theories. In the case of Janet that has been discussed above that she deserves the right to know the reason for her termination. The rights theory explains that every employee has the right to know about the problem. The problems must be informed to the employee so that he or she gets an opportunity to improve it. Implement of utilitarian theory the best and least harm can be consummated (Gustafson, 2013). Due to the unethical activities or behavior of managers to the employees, it may cause the long-term harm to the organization. So, punishing a nonguilty person is wrong which may lead to the legal problem in the future. The employee of an organization must be provided an equal opportunity of employment without any discrimination. All the employees must provide with the fair and competitive work environment. The distributive justice theory is a concern with providing a fair action to all the member and employee of the organization. According to the performance of the employees, the compensation along with other incentives and facilities must be distributed (Phillips, Freeman and Wicks, 2003). The deserving candidates must be appreciated for their performance; such behavior of manager will improve the working environment and enhance the performance. With the implementation of caring theory in the workplace, managers can retain the employees in the organization. Implementation of this theory in the workplace helps to build the relationship between the employees. Similarly, one should not be unjustified by providing negative appraisal so the virtue ethics should not be violated by providing a false statement about the employee (Graham, 2004).
Both the employees and the managers should not show the unethical activities in the workplace. The issues related with the human resources must be sorted out on time. With the proper application of ethical theories, the appropriate decision can be made to improve the working condition and maintaining the justices in the organization. The decision taken related to the employees of an organization must be justified without any discrimination in the workplace.
Conclusion and recommendation
Ethical issues are burning issues in the field of human resource management. Ethical issues may arise in every organization such as employment issues, safety issues, performance appraisal, equal treatment and opportunity and many more. Such issues lead to the situation of conflict in the workplace so for the maintenance of conflict ethical practice must be conducted in the organization. An ethical behavior of managers helps to determine what is right and what is wrong. Ethical practice and codes of conduct help to punish the guilty and appreciate the right one. Without the implementation of ethics for the management of human resources in the organization then stated success cannot be achieved. Business ethics must be implemented and maintained by the organization for better performance and for providing justices.
The recommendation for the implementation of business ethics within an organization are as follows:
- Reviewing the code of ethics by the board members
- Educate employees about the code of conducts
- Organizational rules and regulation must be printed and displayed in display areas
- Provision of ethics training facilities
- Handling of violators with fairness and equal application
- Business Case Studies, 2018. Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. [Online] Available at: https://businesscasestudies.co.uk/anglo-american/business-ethics-and-corporate-social-responsibility/what-are-business-ethics.html [Accessed on 11 Oct 2018].
- De Gama, N., McKenna, S. and Peticca-Harris, A., 2012. Ethics and HRM: Theoretical and conceptual analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 111(1), pp.97-108.
- Frey, R.G. and Wellman, C.H. eds., 2008. A companion to applied ethics. John Wiley & Sons.
- Graham, G., 2004. Eight theories of ethics. Routledge.
- Greenwood, M. and Freeman, R.E., 2011. Ethics and HRM: The contribution of stakeholder theory. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, pp.269-292.
- Gustafson, A., 2013. In defense of a utilitarian business ethic. Business and Society Review, 118(3), pp.325-360.
- Jack, G., Greenwood, M. and Schapper, J., 2012. Frontiers, intersections and engagements of ethics and HRM. Journal of business ethics, 111(1), pp.1-12.
- Janssens, M. and Steyaert, C., 2009. HRM and performance: A plea for reflexivity in HRM studies. Journal of Management Studies, 46(1), pp.143-155.
- Johnston, K., 2018. A list of ethical issues for human resource management. [Online] Available at: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/list-ethical-issues-human-resource-management-24052.html [Accessed on 11 Oct 2018].
- Phillips, R., Freeman, R.E. and Wicks, A.C., 2003. What stakeholder theory is not. Business ethics quarterly, 13(4), pp.479-502.
- Society for Human Resource Management, 2010. Ethics in Human Resource Management. [PDF]. Available at: https://www.shrm.org/academicinitiatives/universities/teachingresources/Documents/Gusdorf_Ethics%20in%20Human%20Resource%20Management_IM_FINAL.pdf [Accessed on 11 Oct 2018].
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