Essays on HRM Contribution to Organizations and Society, the Kantian Ethics Theory Coursework

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The paper "HRM Contribution to Organizations and Society, the Kantian Ethics Theory" is a great example of management coursework.   Human resource management has gained prominence in modern organizations as firms and institutions have realized the need to incorporate and engage its human resources in order to counter stiff global competition and produce and deliver quality that effectively and efficiently meets the rising demands of the global market. Human resources are considered the most valuable and reliable asset to an organization owing to the fact that the other resources to an organization cannot be utilized adequately without the human resource. Kramar et al.

(2011, p. 4) describe HRM as the policies and systems that impact on the conduct, attitudes and performance of employees. The main responsibility of the human resource manager is to create a link between the human resources with the organizational goals and strategies by communicating the role of employees, the need and the methods of achieving the anticipated business outcomes. The HRM has evolved to integrate ethics where the organizational human resources are expected to comply to ethical standards and principles and more importantly act as ethical stewards and the conscious of organizations as supported by Kramar et al. , (2011, p.

542). This forms the basis of this report, which seeks to critically discuss the ethicality of HRM using the Kantian Ethics theory. Critical Discussion Prior to analysing how ethical or unethical HRM is using the Kantian Ethics theory, it is important to highlight the Kantian Ethics theory. The Kantian Ethics Theory is an ethical theory where one acts in such a way that they treat humanity whether in their own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end (Winstanley & Woodall, (2000, p.

50). For that reason, HRM can only be perceived as ethical if it treats people as human beings and person in-itself rather than a means, a tool, an instrument, a device and a resource. Therefore, HRM is unethical because it treats people as a means and as a resource to achieve its end, which is to achieve anticipated business outcomes. HRM defines its labour forces as an organizational resource and not as people who support it in achieving set strategic goals, mission, vision and objectives.

By defining the labour forces as an organizational resource, the HRM gives the labour forces the same status and importance as it does to other non-human or non-living organizational resources such as capital, finance, material resources, technology and information among others. From HRM point of view, labour forces are merely resources, which provide a means of enhancing the value and quality of organizational products and services produced and delivered.

In addition, increasing the capacity of production of goods and services to ensure that the organization is able adequately and competently meet the changing needs and rising demands of its market, enhance its competitive advantage against its rivals and increase sales and the market shares, with the sole purpose of improving the profit margins. In regards as to why organizations and firms should be ethical, Kantian theory indicates that one should be moral not out of pity and self-interest, but because being ethical is a requirement of reason as highlighted by Schwartz & TUC, (2007, p 231).

The practice of developing the human resources into ethical stewards is not meant to enhance the credibility and reliability of the labour forces themselves, but it is intended to influence the perceptions of the larger masses or existing and potential markets into perceiving the organization as credible and hence, improve an organization’ s brand image and brand equity. This is because, when the human resources act as good ethical stewards, the public perception will be that if the employees are that ethical then the organization must be and hence, they either become potential customers or they enhance their loyalty which boils down to increased market shares and sales which directly translates to improved profitability.

References

Budd, J.W., & Scoville, J.G. 2005. The ethics of human resources and industrial relations. London: Cornell University Press.

Koster, M. 2007. Ethics in Human Resource Management. Berlin: GRIN Verlag.

Kramar, R., Bartram, t., & De Cleri, H. 2011. Human resource management in Australia- Strategy, people, performance, 4th Ed. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Mabey, C., Skinner, D., & Clark, T. 1998. Experiencing human resource management. London: SAGE.

Schwartz, J. & TUC. 2007. Connecting agency and morality in Kant's moral theory. London: ProQuest.

Sims, R.R. 2007. Human resource management: contemporary issues, challenges, and opportunities. New York: IAP.

Storey, J. 2007. Human resource management: a critical text. Melbourne: EMEA.

Winstansley, D., & Woodall, J. 2000. Ethical issues in contemporary human resource management. Sidney: Palgrave Macmillan.

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