Business Ethics in Human Resources Management Definition of Human Resources Management: " Human Resource Management involves all management decisions and actions that affect the relationship between the organization and employees- its human resources" described by Beer et al (1984). "Human Resource Management relates to the total set of knowledge, skills and attitudes that firms need to compete. It involves concerns for action in the management of people, including: selection, training and development, employee relations and compensation". given by Pettigrew and Whip (1991). Bratton and Gold (1994) define HRM as: - "The part of the management process that specialises in the management of people in work organisations. HRM emphasises that employees are the primary resource for gaining sustainable competitive advantage, that human resource activities need to be integrated with the corporate strategy, and that human resource specialists help organisational controllers to meet both efficiency and equity objectives". Business Ethics: Business ethics is a specialised study that concentrates on how moral standards apply particularly to business policies, institutions and behaviour.
Ethics in Human Resources Management A HR professional are responsible for adding values to the organizations they serve and contributing to the ethical success of those organisations. They also advocate the profession by engaging in activities that enhance its creditability and value. Ethical Leadership's core principle: -- HR professionals are expected to exhibit individual leadership as a role model for maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct to set the standards and be an example for others. There are many ethical practices in Human Resource Management of which below are some important areas seen in daily routine. 1. The Treatment of Employees 2.
The Nature of Work 3. Training and Development 4. Bullying / Harassment at Work 5. Fair / Just Rewards 6. Healths and Safety 7. Casual / Temporary contracts 8.
Whistle Blowing at Work. The number of above topics is discussed in a brief description and they are affected in Organisations. 1. Training And Development Training makes a vital contribution to the development of the organisation's human resources and hence to the achievements of its aims and objectives. Training must be given to the right people in the right form at the right time and at the right costs. The Insurance Company is a Learning Organisation, where most of the market is depended on the customer services.
A Learning Organisation has been defined by Pedlar et al (1989) as 'An Organisation, which facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself'. Handy (1989) describes a Learning Organisation as one that both learns and encourages learning in people. An employee gave a customer less claim amount in Insurance Company. The employee was not having sufficient knowledge of the policy and the customer lost few hundred pounds.
Line managers have the main responsibility to train their staff at work. Union Carbide is a company, which is responsible for the disaster taken place in Bhopal (India) on 3rd December 1984. The disaster was caused due to the leakage of MIC gas when water or some other agent accidentally entered the tank, killing approximately 2500 people on the spot. This was caused because most of the employees were untrained.
Most of the employees were not professionals and they are not aware of the technology used by the Union Carbide Company. Line managers have main responsibilities to train there at the work place. BULLING AND HARASSMENT OF EMPLOYEES: We can see many high profile cases of unwanted harassment and bulling taking place in the recent years. It can have many implications not only for the individuals involved but also for the organisation itself Effects of bulling: Emotional effects Cognitive effects Behavioural effects Physiological effects Effects on organisation There are both internal and external effects on organisation. Internal Effects: Absenteeism Low motivation Reduced productivity Reduced efficiency Poor industrial relations Profits could be affected Loosing key people Extra unnecessary cost External Effects: Sales could be lost Customer service could suffer Bad publicity Difficulty in recruiting staff Forms of bulling: Physical contact Verbal abuse Implied threats Co erosion for sexual favours Intrusion by pestering, spying and stalking Repeated request giving impossible dead lined or impossible tasks A policy must be drawn up in consultant with staff representatives and is made available to all the staff Showing discrimination harasses most of the employees in an organisation Discrimination: The term discrimination describes a large number o wrongful acts in employment, housing, education, medical care and other areas of public life. The forms of discrimination are: Discrimination en sex Religious discrimination National origin discrimination Age discrimination Discrimination against the handicapped Discrimination occurs when there is an express intent to threat the weakness of certain groups differently.
Most of the discrimination in the organisation is shown at the time of employment and at the promotion. The sex discrimination act and the race relations act: The sex discrimination act (SDA) and the race relations act (RRA) address unfair discrimination I similar ways. Both refer to three kinds of discrimination: Direct discrimination Indirect discrimination Victimisation Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated les favourably for a reason directly to with his or her sex, marital status, race, racial origin. Examples of this would be to refuse a woman a job as a truck driver simply because she is a woman or to refuse a Chinese person a job in a school kitchen simply because all another employees are white European, and the employer fears that a person of different racial background will not fit in. Indirect discrimination occurs when someone was treated unfairly because of some requirement that would disproportionately exclude the particular group that person belongs to, and when the requirement cannot be objectively justified. fro instance if u wish to hire someone to clean the windows in a building and you stipulated that applicants must be six feet tall could this requirement be justified in terms of the skills and abilities required to do the job... Victimisation occurs when someone is treated less favourably because that person had made a complaint and indicated an intension to make a complaint about sex or race discrimination.
The prejudice involved in discrimination is of several different kinds. One kind of prejudice behind racial and ethnic discrimination consists of strong feeling of antipathy and intolerance. Some prejudice is based not on strong feelings but on misunderstandings such as stereo typed about women, older workers, and handicapped. Improper sexual conduct in the workplace-which includes lewd and suggestive comments, touching and fondling, persistent attention, and requests for sexual favours- has long been problem for women, and occasionally for men. In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), issued guidelines on sexual harassment that include the following definition: "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission t such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of un reasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment". This definition makes a distinction between two kinds of harassment.
One is quid pro quo harassment, which clearly violates that man, and women should not be treated differently in their "compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment". A woman who is promised a promotion or a raise-or threatened with demotion, termination, or loss of pay-based on whether she submits to the sexual demands of her boss is being held to a different standard, merely because of her sex. The other kind is hostile working environment harassment, in which the sexual nature of the conduct of co-workers and others causes a woman to be very uncomfortable. The corporation has recognised the cost of harassment and accepted their responsibility to prevent it by establishing programs to deal with harassment on the job. The main features of these programs are (1) developing a firm policy against harassment; (2) communicating this policy to all employees and providing training, where necessary, to secure compliance; (3) setting up a procedure for reporting violations and investigating all complaints thoroughly and fairly; and (4) taking appropriate action against the offenders.