Ethics and the part it plays in Human Resources


Ethics and ethical behaviour are the backbone of the Human Resources profession.

Upholding the principles of law and procedural fairness are central to these ideologies. Therefore, it has been disappointing to hear, in recent times, reports calling into question the conduct of some within the profession.

Prior to acting, might it be prudent to analyse the intended action through an ethical framework?

The following framework aids to focus on and scrutinise proposed HRM actions:

Maintaining basic human, civil and employment rights, regarding job security, feedback from tests, openness and consultation in those matters which affect us, transparency over criteria for decision making, avoidance of scapegoating, and the rights of whistle-blowers maintained. Woodhall, Winstanley and Heery (1996)

If our actions are considered, balanced and fair, it is more likely that the rights of the individual will be observed, and less likely for our decisions to be scrutinised and dissected through the media.


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