Ethics and Human Resource Management

Ethics and Human Resource Management

    Whats Inside?

Ethics are principles or morals that are imbibed within an individual or reinforced externally that help them to differentiate between right and wrong and to act according. 


Ethics in human resource management indicates the treatment of employees with ordinary decency and distributive justice. It is a subset of business ethics. Human resource managers should avoid any kind of discrimination among the employees based on specific factors such as color, caste, culture, appearance, religion, employment fight, etc. Ethical business contributes to the business goals as the employees will feel motivated and they will work with efficiency and effectiveness.



When employees join an organization, they need to understand how the business operates and how they, as employees, will be expected to contribute and behave within the organization. It is the Human Resources' responsibility to come up with employee handbooks that give guidance to employees on what is right and wrong. This increases employee trust within the organization which is important since people are organisations most valuable resource.

 Related: Become a Human Resources Consultant: Empowering Businesses with HR Solutions



Business ethics in human resource management deals with the affirmative moral obligations of the employer towards employees to maintain equality and equity justice. Areas of ethics in HRM include safety in the workplace, respect, fairness, privacy, basic human rights, justifiable treatment of employees, and honestly based processes in the workplace. As an example, employee monitoring is deemed necessary in many companies that work remotely. With ethical time tracking, employee productivity can be monitored in a more ethical way, by intentionally downgrading videos and pictures taken. The notion surrounding ethical decisions is thought of as an individual responsibility therefore once Human Resources navigates the ethical challenges of their job they will be able to effectively attract and retain a talented workforce.


The importance of ethics in human resources management is due to globalization which has affected the organizational policies to work in the world economy; the growing competition which forces the company to find a competitive advantage and increase profitability. With the increasing scope of companies to do business at the international level, there is an increasing need to address the ethical issues dealing with human resources. The company now considers human resources as strategic importance and has considered being of competitive advantage for ethical decision-making. This is because it is imperative to ensure only appropriate information is used in decisions affecting the employment relationship.


ethics in hr

Discrimination issues, sexual harassment, and unfair employment policies can land companies in trouble with consumers, potential strategic partners, and potential future employees. The questions of how employees should be treated, how they should be paid, how they should be trained, under what conditions they should be expected to work, how hard they should work, how they should be disciplined, and how their employees should be terminated, are fundamental to HRM. These are to be answered in the code of ethics designed by Human Resource professionals and ethical HR leaders must make tough decisions.



Incorporating ethical practices in Human Resource Management and ethical values in individuals empowers an organization in maintaining and increasing trust. However, the impact of ethical violations on human resource management within an organization can be enormous. It hurt individuals, businesses, stockholders, and society. It may have an adverse influence on human resource discipline and organization profitability. It can also negatively affect the organization's financial stability and competitive position. Savvy, ethics-conscious business owners put comprehensive ethics programs in place to display a firm commitment to ethics in every area of business, including human resources.


Related: Project Resource Management 101: Guide for Project Managers


A study to determine the prominence of HRM for a case organization regarding, how ethics strike it to perform in human resource management day-to-day operations more efficiently was done by Bilqees Ghani. In this study, he explains why the extensive involvement of HR in corporate ethics programs is important to the perceived fairness, and thus the likely outcomes. It is important to ensure that one of the organizational goals is to measure the effectiveness of HR in establishing ethical relations.



The most obvious finding to emerge from this study was that human resource management plays a crucial role in shaping ethical codes, policies, and procedures, and also it plays a central role in conducting ethics-related activities at the workplace. It also shows that human resource professionals have the responsibility to raise organization efficiency, and employee performance and, also resolve ethical violations. The researcher has found that the case has its code of business conduct, which has to abide by all officers, employees, contractual workers, and agents as well. Ethics concern both personal and professional levels, but at a professional level, it is highly influenced by HRM, the ethical violation can occur in any department but when it occurs in the human resource department, could directly affect the whole business entity. The researcher concluded that the role of ethics is paramount in human resource management.

RelatedEmployee handbook: 6 Must-have policies for your manual


HR professionals can work synergistically with ethics and compliance officers to improve an organization's ethical culture.


Keithly Tongai
This article was written by Keithly a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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