Agonism and the Possibilities of Ethics for HRM
This paper provides a critique and re-evaluation of the way that ethics is understood and promoted within mainstream Human Resource Management (HRM) discourse. We argue that the ethics located within this discourse focuses on bolstering the relevance of HRM as a key contributor to organizational strategy, enhancing an organization’s sense of moral legitimacy and augmenting organizational control over employee behaviour and subjectivity. We question this discourse in that it subordinates the ethics of the employment relationship to managerial prerogative. In response, we suggest a different model of the relationship between ethics and HRM—one that finds the possibility of ethics in the contestation and destabilization of HRM. Such ethics arises through resistance to moral normalization and the constraint of freedom and difference. The contribution of our paper is in theorising the possibilities of a relationship between ethics and HRM that does not place HRM at its centre, as chief intermediary of the ethics of the employment relationship, but rather sees HRM as being a powerful player in a set of what Mouffe calls ‘agonistic’ socio-ethical relations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
If 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.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Nancy J Adler & Susan Bartholomew, 1992. "Academic and Professional Communities of Discourse: Generating Knowledge on Transnational Human Resource Management," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(3), pages 551-569, September.
- Tom Keenoy, 1997. "HRMism and the Languages of Re-presentation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 825-841, 09.
- Maddy Janssens & Chris Steyaert, 2009. "HRM and Performance: A Plea for Reflexivity in HRM Studies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 143-155, 01.
- Jackie Ford & Nancy Harding, 2003. "Invoking Satan or the Ethics of the Employment Contract," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5), pages 1131-1150, 07.
- Tom Keenoy, 1999. "HRM as Hologram: A Polemic," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 1-23, 01.
- Harvie Ramsay & Dora Scholarios & Bill Harley, 2000. "Employees and High-Performance Work Systems: Testing inside the Black Box," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 501-531, December.
- John Godard, 2001. "High performance and the transformation of work? The implications of alternative work practices for the experience and outcomes of work," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 776-805, July.
- Alexander Styhre, 2001. "Kaizen, Ethics, and Care of the Operations: Management After Empowerment," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 795-810, 09.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:1:p:49-59. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
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.