Ethics is a key branch ofphilosophy, concerned with analyzing what is right or wrong in people’s behavioror conduct. Ethics and morality are terms that are often used interchangeablyin discussions of good and evil.
The term ‘ethics’ is usually applied topersons (ethics comes from the Greek ethos, meaning character) – and ‘morality’to acts and behavior (moral comes from the Latin moralis, meaning customs ormanners) (Rose, 2007:5) ‘All HR practices have anethical foundation. HR deals with the practical consequences of humanbehaviour’. (Johnson, 2003) Ethics is becoming more andmore important and it is advisable for Human resources to continually address andrevise the code of ethics for issues of public importance. Since HR dealsdirectly with people, any ethical pitfall can cause damage to the company’sreputation and hence it needs to handled carefully. There are various unethicalpractices in HRM. Some of them according to Amanda Rose (2007) include:· Exploiting cheap labor· Long working hours· Increased work stress · Dubious practices in hiring and firing personnel As a department in an organization,it is the duty of the professionals to maintain the highest ethical standardsand be ethically responsible in promoting fairness and justice. Any business would do wellwhen the customers, clients and employees are satisfied.
In a hospital, it iscontroversial to say that employees come first because it is focused onpatients and that we strive to make patients satisfied. But if employees arenot happy, patients are not. Another aspect of followingethical principles is to shield itself from potential legal issues.
Unfairhiring, unethical promotion and other similar behaviors and issues can become acostly affair and damage the company’s reputation. Windstanley and Woodall (1996)focus on a number of ethical issues in HR. These include:· Increased Job insecurity· Increase in surveillance and control· Deregulation According to Mathis and Jackson(1997), seven ethical issues can come into play. They are:· Withholding information of a representative with aboss· Exploring credit and criminal records· Privacy issues involving AIDS· When you consider employment due to dependents healthconcerns · Enforceability of smoking cessation Deshpande 1996 (as cited byEkuma KJ & Akobo L.
A.) explained that ethical climate of an organizationinfluences the behavior of employees and is defined by what constitutes anethically correct behavior. Nowadays, HR professionalshave more power to employment matters than before resulting in them dealingwith ethical issues in workplace. They are now expected to act as “ethicalstewards” (Winstanley & Woodall 1996) or ‘conscience’ of organizations(Wiley 1998).