In the first article "What role should HR play in corporate ethics" the authors establish that HR is vital toward maintaining and building corporate ethics programs. In particular the researchers suggest that HR professionals can create programs that help facilitate open communication and enhance ethics by helping employees and management officials understand the effects non-ethical behavior may have on customers, shareholders and organizational productivity. The authors also suggest that ethics programs should be linked to all business units including finance, security and any legal organization components.
An ethics program according to this author must cover multiple areas including risk assessment, organizational standards, communication, reporting and organizational assessment. I support the author's views in this article. Ethics starts by opening the lines of communication within an organization. HR plays a key role in ethics development in an organization because HR professionals come to intimately understand the needs, wants and problems employees may have with ethical subjects.
In the second article, "How HR can facilitate ethics" the authors suggest again that HR professionals must play an important role in developing, maintaining and updating ethics programs. This article like the previous article supports adopting ethical systems within the organization. A key element of ethics programs defined by the authors is also communications. The authors suggest that HR plays three critical roles with respect to ethics including determining employee's loyalty, providing consistent information and assessing perceptions about ethical behaviors in an organization. Again the authors here make a valid point.
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HR is critical as the previous article mentions to the success of an organizational ethical program. I also believe that a solid ethics program will build loyalty but not just among employees. A company that has a reputable ethics program in place will also stand out among the competition. In an increasingly global marketplace it is vital that organizations take steps to ensure they conduct ethical business practices.
Both of these articles are very relevant to the field of HRD. As companies continue to expand into an international marketplace, the media more and more is highlighting stories that feature unethical behavior. Such behavior tarnishes the reputation of companies and also harms employee's chances for advancement and personal success. It is vital that human resource professionals take an active role in developing ethical systems within the organization. HR professionals are trained not only in ethical management but also to work with employees to form a bridge between managers and employees.
HR professionals can help open the lines of communication, survey current employees and mangers to determine potential problems areas, and work with multiple business units synergistically to ensure all company objectives are met in as ethical a manner as possible. It's not enough to simply "do" business.
Companies that fail to uphold ethical standards will ultimately fail in the long term. It is important that companies not only remain competitive but take pride in ethical work practices. HRD teams should continually work to discover new and innovative techniques for building ethical work practices into organizational processes and procedures. Ethics is something that should be ingrained in the heart and soul of organizations.
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