Ethics and HRM: Theoretical and Conceptual Analysis
AbstractDespite the ongoing consideration of the ethical nature of human resource management (HRM), little research has been conducted on how morality and ethics are represented in the discourse, activities and lived experiences of human resource (HR) professionals. In this paper, we connect the thinking and lived experiences of HR professionals to an alternative ethics, rooted in the work of Bauman (Modernity and the Holocaust, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1989 ; Theory, Culture and Society 7:5–38, 1990 ; Postmodern Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford, 1991 ; Approaches to Social Enquiry, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1993 ; Life in Fragments, Blackwell, Oxford, 1995 ) and Levinas (Otherwise than Being, or, Beyond Essence, Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1998 ). We argue that the study of HRM and ethics should be contextualized within the discourses used, the practices and activities of HR professionals. Through the analysis of interview data from 40 predominantly Canadian HR practitioners and managers we experiment with Bauman’s notion of ‘moral impulse’ to help us understand how HRM is both a product and perpetuator of moral neutralization in organizations. We suggest that HRM as it is practiced is concerned with distancing, depersonalizing, and dissembling, and acts in support of the ‘moral’ requirements of business, not of people. However, we also recognize that HR practitioners and managers are often confronted with and conflicted by actions and decisions that they are required to take, therefore opening possibilities and hope for an alternative ethical HRM. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.
Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281
Alternative ethics; Discourse and lived experience of HR professionals; Moral neutralization; Moral impulse;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions -- A consumer perspective of corporate ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 255-262, March.
- Catherine Truss, 1997. "Soft and Hard Models of Human Resource Management: A Reappraisal," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 53-73, 01.
- Edward Barratt, 2003. "Foucault, HRM and the Ethos of the Critical Management Scholar," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 1069-1087, 07.
- Stéphanie Arnaud & David Wasieleski, 2014. "Corporate Humanistic Responsibility: Social Performance Through Managerial Discretion of the HRM," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(3), pages 313-334, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.