Ethical Issues in HRM Strategy
By: Cynthia Chamberlain
Professor David Frost
Week of Jan. 21, 2013
Identify the areas of overlap in the new client organization with others that you have had as clients. If you have limited experience with these types of problems, be sure to research common issues to complete this question.
As an HR function, the areas such as industrial relations, employee relations and employment legislation are intertwined. Whenever an organization engages the services of an outside consultant, they are expecting that consultant to draw on the knowledge and experience gained from working with other companies. Although the new client is ...view middle of the document...
Leaders should share information, particularly that which could possibly impact business decisions or employee choices. Another area of overlap is that of employment laws, particularly those based on Title VII of the 1964/1991 Civil Rights Act. Sensitive information on issues related to hiring, performance management, disciplinary actions, or termination must be protected at all times. As a strategic partner, the consultant has access to this information. There may be overlapping in areas regarding talent acquisition, retention, diversity, equal pay, and training and development. My role as a consultant would enable me to pinpoint specific issues and design a strategic plan for improvement.
Explain the ethical dilemma(s) that may arise if you use your expert knowledge of other organizational HRM strategies with the new client.
As an upstanding, honest professional, I would never be in an ethical dilemma over the possible misuse of knowledge garnered through work with previous clients. For someone with a lesser sense of ethical values, using any aspect of another organization’s strategies could pose several dilemmas. Within the HR function, a consultant may be called on to address issues relating to employee relations, compensation and benefits, or performance management. Employee-relations involve the development of strong employer-employee relationships, and are a pivotal role for HR. As a consultant, I may have knowledge of employee complaints, as well as their level of job satisfaction. This information would be obtained through the use of opinion surveys. Knowledge of EEOC and diversity issues, company policies, workforce planning, employee behavior, attitudes, and conduct, or turnover rates -could be used to potentially undermine the hiring and retention process of former clients. (Mayhew, R., HR Issues & Challenges) An ethical dilemma would exist if I gave consideration to the possible outcomes of using this information, regardless of the morality of it. I would be forced to determine who would benefit more, as well as who would be harmed.
The HR consultant would have access to compensation and benefits package information. An ethical dilemma could arise if I were to use that knowledge to encourage or discourage the new client with regard to current benefits being offered by the competition. In order to remain competitive, I would advise my new client on the importance of having a budget that will accommodate recruiting and retaining the best candidates. Ethical hiring practices must also be respected. I may have knowledge of several candidates who are looking to change companies. This could create an ethical dilemma, especially if I shared this information with the recruiting manager. It is important that the new client hires candidates based on merit, and not based on insider knowledge or preferential treatment.
An ethical dilemma may also arise if I were to use prior knowledge to somehow...