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Ehr-Business Ethic

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CHAPTER 2

Ethics and Human Resource Management
By Amanda Rose

Chapter outline
Standards, values, morals and ethics have become increasingly complex in a postmodern society where absolutes have given way to tolerance and ambiguity. This particularly affects managers in HR, where decisions will affect people’s jobs and their future employment. This chapter explores some of the ethical dilemmas encountered in the workplace, discussing ethical behaviour and values that relate to HR. It looks at relevant ethical tools, such as utilitarianism and relativism in order to examine current practices in the workplace and their links to corporate social responsibility.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this chapter, you should be able to: u u u u

Critically explore and evaluate the ethical nature of human resource management; Identify and define current ethical and moral issues confronting HR managers; Compare, contrast and critically appraise a range of approaches to ethical analysis; Critically appraise the relevance and usefulness of philosophical analysis to HR practice.

Introduction
Human Resource Management is a business function that is concerned with managing relations between groups of people in their capacity as employees, employers and managers. Inevitably, this process may raise questions about what the respective responsibilities and rights of each party are in this relationship, and about what constitutes fair treatment. These questions are ethical in nature, and this chapter will focus on debates about the ethical basis of human resource management.

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CHAPTER 2 ETHICS AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The ethical nature of HRM
‘All HR practices have an ethical foundation. HR deals with the practical consequences of human behaviour’. (Johnson, 2003) ‘The entire...

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