Human resources are the driving force of an organization. For strategic management of human resources, an organisation should set ethical conducts to be followed in the company. It is through upholding proper code of ethics that human resources intellectual asset, knowledge and professionalism can be tapped to the benefit of the organization.
This paper is a comparison of the book “Human Resource Management Ethics” by Deckop and Deckop, and human resources ethics article in the journal, “Human Resource Management Review” written by Weaver.
Point Brought in the Book
According to the book, to develop a strong team, which uphold high-level of ethical conduct, all employees from the top management to the employees on the ground must support ethical behaviour. The ethical code, which is a blue print and countersigned by all employees, should not be seen as conditions set for junior employees; however, it should be seen as a document for the entire company. The chief execute officer himself must set good example to the juniors and other managers follow suit.
Human resources ethical code of conduct should be documented and counter signed by employees, counter signing the document is a commitment that employees will uphold an ethical behaviour. Ethical behaviour in a company is influenced by organisational culture. Culture adopted in a company influences how the employees interact with each other, a strong culture supports the set rules and regulations whereas a culture that where employees are against the rule of law will repel the set codes of conduct in a company.
Human resources management style adopted in a company influences how employees perceive set ethical code of conduct. If human resources are effectively managed, they will have no problem complying with ethical standards set. If human resources department is seen concerned about solving issues raised by employees, then employees are likely to comply with set codes of conduct.
Fulfilling employee’s psychological contract goes a long way in maintaining an ethical code of conduct in an organisation. Organisations, which have their employees satisfied by what they do, are likely to be more compliant with the company’s set code of conduct. If employees are not satisfied, they will repel against the rules set in an organisation.
To maintain high ethical conduct in an organisation, there is need to have frequent training that review the code of ethics. There is no harm in letting employees’ discuss some issues off-course with the guideline of management, and come up with an ethical code to follow (Deckop, and Deckop 2-78).
The article has some issues that it has discussed as the way forward in maintaining a high ethical behaviour in an organisation. It does not focus mostly on theory, but it has discusses real life cases and how they have affected human resources ethics.
The article starts by appreciating the role played by human resources in an organisation. It has emphasised on the need to have well-structured human resources. The role of maintaining an ethical code of conduct starts and remains with human resources management. It emphasises that right from recruitment, recruiting teams should ensure that they employ a person with good behaviour. The characters and attitude of people employed will favour or let down ethical conduct in a company.
Despite this feeling that, human resources are the major watchdogs for maintenance of ethical code, the article gave an observation by Fortune 500, which suggested that human resources role accounts for merely 28% of the employee’s compliance to their organisations code of conduct. A great potion is the role of organisational culture and employees themselves.
Personal ethics has also been discusses in the article where the writer observes that there is a close link between personal ethics and organisational ethical behaviour. The article is of the opinion that people who have high value of their personal ethics are more likely to comply with organisational code of conduct.
The article emphasizes on the importance of codes and policy document. The writer is of the opinion that these documents are ethical constitution and thus should be maintained and be well understood by the employees. When there is a problem in ethical behaviour, then the documents should be consulted and give the way forward.
The article emphasises on the role of audit and legal staffs in maintaining ethics. It suggests that traditional roles of internal audit and control units have been extended to include an evaluation of general organisational operation. Traditional internal and external audits were more focused on financial audits and controls but in modern time, they are involved with general operational audit of an organisation.
The article is of the opinion that there should be justice and fairness in the administration of ethical code of conduct. It suggests that when an organisation treats its employees fairly, then there are higher chances of job satisfaction and maintenance of high code of conduct. Fairness can only be attained when an organisation maintains one set of ethical codes and policies, which all employees despite their rank in an organisation are expected to follow (Weaver 113-120).
Comparisons of the Journal and the Class Work
The journal and the book agree that there must be high ethical code of conducts in an organisation for efficiency and effectiveness in production. The role of maintaining high ethical behaviour has been to some extent been left on human resource management team.
Both the materials feel that an organisation that maintains high standards of behaviour and which respects its employees is more likely to benefit from their human rescores assets. Knowledge management can only be attained if employee and their employer have good human relations.
The article comes up with some important issues and considerations that have not been brought about by the book. The book seemed to emphasis more on the role of human resources in managing an ethical code of conduct but the journal has more weight on organisational culture.
Although the journal recognises that human resources management team have a crucial part to play, it has its major role as drafting a policy document to be adopted in an organisation. To maintain ethical behaviour, a company need to have fairness in its operation, fairness is maintained when all ranks of employees are bound by the same ethical code.
The journal brings the issue of cognitive connection with fairness; it is of the opinion that psychological contracts can only be fulfilled if there is fairness. The journal brings out another important factor on internal audits and the role of internal controls in maintaining an ethical behaviour in an organisation.
Of late, the role played by internal audits have been emphasised in many organisations. Internal audits have taken a wider approach than the traditional ones where they were more concerned about financial management. They are nowadays looking into all operational issues in an organisation so having them as tools to maintain an ethical code of conduct is relevant to modern business (Deckop, and Deckop 2-78).
The Article’s Academic and Practical Value
The article is well researched; it provides insight information on human resources ethic. It has used other writer’s sources and conducted its own research in operating business. This has added more knowledge on the issue. The journal is updated with current trends and human resources ethics. It is thus relevant in the topic and recommendations and approaches to this issue given in the book are applicable in an operating business.
From an academic angle, a scholar in human resources will not only have wide writing experienced but also have practiced the subject wrote the journal. He talks from an understanding angle. He brings out issues in a straightforward simple manner that readers can understand.
The journal has linked human resources management with other important management roles in a company like internal audit and internal control. They are areas that can be studies separately but the writer has interlinked them in a way them understanding how they affect an organisation individually or jointly has come out (Weaver 113-120).
Maintaining high ethical behaviour is important in a business. When employees uphold ethics, good human relations are enhanced. Human resources department have the task of coming up with an ethic policies, which should be well understood by all employees. Positive organizational culture supports ethical conduct in an organisation whereas negative organizational culture undermines ethical behaviour.
Deckop, J., and Deckop J. Human Resource Management Ethics. New York:International Age Publishing Inc, 2006. Print.
Weaver, G. “The role of human resources in ethics/compliance management: A fairness perspective.” Human Resource Management Review 11.2 (2001): 113-120.Print.