Human Resource Management Ethics

Activities related to manpower planning and development, will be taken care by Human resource management (HRM) in any organization. HRM is a branch of management where ethics matter. Since it concerns human related issues especially those of industrial relations, health and safety issues, compensation, and development. However there are some disagreements also.

There are different viewpoints when it comes to the role of ethics or ethics in human resource development. One of group leaders have faith that, in business markets, govern the organizational interests are met through people, so the latter are at the highest risk. And the other group believes that markets claim profits in the name of stakeholders and unless we have protocols, standards and procedures. The same will develop into a demon monopolizing markets and crushing the human capital. HR ethics have become mandatory.

There is another group of atheists who believe that realization of higher profits through utilization of human resources, there is no concept of business ethics. They also argue that by efficiently utilizing human resources more value is created for the organization, shareholders, society, and ultimately employees also get benefited indirectly as they are part of organization or society. Ethics in human resource management has become a long lasting debate.

Most of the discussions in HRM stream are on standards of employee relationships. Issues discussed and covered in most of the text are related to freedom and discrimination at the workplace and, employee rights and duties. Few people say that there are few things which are constant in employment relationships but others disagree with the same. For instance, right for fair compensation and right to privacy; right to privacy is some area that cannot be compromised upon.

Market System and Ethics 

The kind of market system and competition we are facing, will affect business and HR ethics. Thus HR ethics becomes negotiable especially in jobs where the market conditions do not favor the employees. Definitely we should involve government and labor unions in order to control the possible exploitation. In the case of a free market system, employers and the employees are given rights, so by negotiating we can create win-win situations for both the parties and government or labor union involvement becomes risky.

Globalization has brought about the concept of globalizing labor, prominence of trade unions have started to decline and the role of HR as such in issues like employee practices & policies, has become a topic to debate on. In reality many HR leaders feel that HR has become the arm of the stakeholders through which major strategic and policy decisions are implemented and geared towards profit making.

No single opinion on ethics in HR is convincing. Business market itself is neither an ethical institution nor unethical. Policies and procedures alone can’t govern and align markets to human well-being; we can’t deny the requirement of such policies and procedures also. HR ethics should always have eye on things like union and labor laws, health and safety, whistle blowing, discrimination (sexual, religion, age), compensation of the employees.

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