In this essay, we have attempted to set the scene for this special issue by contextualising our desire to advance theoretical and conceptual analyses of ethical issues in HRM, in terms of the academic discipline, HR practices or HR professionals. We have argued that the current academic response to ethical questions is fragmented with limited conversation between intellectual camps and little intellectual animation since the early 2000s. With the eleven papers comprising this special issue, we hope to reanimate debate, especially across intellectual and disciplinary lines, and to offer exemplars of different and highly engaging ways of exploring ethics-HRM.
The papers comprising this special issue represent a pluralism of a sort, offering different theoretical, conceptual and empirical ways of addressing ethics-HRM. As with any special issue, this pluralism is selective—contingent upon the interests and intentions of those who submitted, the views of the referees and our final editorial decisions regarding the best quality provocations to advance ethics-HRM scholarship. As a consequence of such selective frames, the collection as a whole inevitably fails to transgress certain intellectual and professional boundaries. We do not wish to enumerate these ‘missing’ other issues and perspectives (e.g. positive psychology, indigenous knowledge, unionism, etc.), preferring instead to leave such judgment to others about intersections worthy of future scholarly attention. However, before coming to the end of this essay, we wish to draw attention to two issues regarding the pool of submissions we received (not the final line-up per se).
At this point, we need to return to our opening premise in this essay—that HRM is ethically fraught, its precarious nature tied to the very humanness of the humans being managed and managing. The distinctive character of an ethical lens is its very insistence on starting our analyses from the very humanness of the human, from our embodied and fleshy interdependencies on one another, often masked by the commodifying outcomes of the labour process, or the discourses of one or another institution or cultural system. Such interdependencies are ultimately vulnerabilities to the other and, as such, the very conditions of possibility for being human.
Training and development hrm essay P p research paper Strategic Human Resource Management Strategic HRM means formulating and executing human resource policies and practices
This paper is the culmination of a larger project on Ethics and HRM led by Michelle Greenwood, Jan Schapper and Gavin Jack, and supported by the European Academy of Business and Society (EABIS) and the Monash University Faculty of Business and Economics. We wish to thank participants in the Ethics and HRM Workshop (London, April 2011) and the Academy of Management Symposium (San Antonio, August 2011) and, in particular, Andreas Scherer, Hugh Willmott and the two blind reviewers of this essay.
This essay, and the special issue it introduces, sets out to reignite ethical interrogations of the theory and practice of Human Resource Management (HRM). To cultivate greater levels of boundary-spanning debate about the ethics of HRM, we develop a framework of four tenors for scholarly work: the ethical-declarative, the ethical-subjunctive, the ethical-ethnographic, the ethical-systemic. Each of these tenors denotes particular grounds for ethical critique and encourages scholars to consider the subjects and objects of their enquiry, the disciplinary scope of their work and the limits to subsequent claims about ethics and HRM. We provisionally locate each of the papers comprising the special issue with regard to one, or more, of these tenors.