ntil very recently, the field of business ethics was not preoccupied with issues relating to the ethical management of employees. Apart from the development of ethical awareness among managers (Snell, 1993; Maclagan, 1998) and the ethical dimension of change management processes (Mayon White, 1994; McKendall, 1993), there has been little debate around the ethical basis of much HR policy and practice. The main debates in business ethics have centred around the social responsibility of business in relations with clients and the environment. They only touch on employee interests as one of several stakeholders or only to the extent that employees might suffer adversely in terms of health and personal integrity as a consequence of their role in producing the organisationâs goods and services. The fact that the way in which employees are managed may invite ethical scrutiny appears to have been overlooked. Conversely the academic discipline of HRM has not been inclined to admit an ethical perspective, which recently struck some leading authors in the Â® eld as âa curiously undeveloped area of analysisâ (Mabey, Salaman and Storey, 1998: 15), though there have been some articles in professional and academic journals (Legge, 1997, 1998; Miller, 1996a, 1996b). Three
Human Resource Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2000
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