You are on page 1of 41

Human Resource

Management
TWELFTH EDITION

GARY DESSLER
BIJU VARKKEY

Part 5 | Employee Relations

Chapter 14
Ethics, Justice, and Fair Treatment
in HR Management
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Explain what is meant by ethical behavior at work.


2. Discuss important factors that shape ethical behavior
at work.
3. Describe at least four specific ways in which HR
management can influence ethical behavior at work.
4. Employ fair disciplinary practices.
5. List at least four important factors in managing
dismissals effectively.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–2
TABLE 14–1 Specific Observed Unethical Behaviors

Abusive or intimidating behavior toward employees 21%


Lying to employees, customers, vendors, or to the public 19%
A situation that places employee interests over organizational interests 18%
Violations of safety regulations 16%
Misreporting of actual time worked 16%
E-mail and Internet abuse 13%
Discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, or similar categories 12%
Stealing or theft 11%
Sexual harassment 9%
Provision of goods or services that fail to meet specifications 8%
Misuse of confidential information 7%
Alteration of documents 6%
Falsification or misrepresentation of financial records or reports 5%
Improper use of competitors’ inside information 4%
Price fixing 3%
Giving or accepting bribes, kickbacks, or inappropriate gifts 3%

Source: From 2005 National Business Ethics Survey: How Employees


Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd Perceive Ethics at Work, 2005, p. 25. Copyright © 2006, Ethics
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human Resource Center (ERC). Used with permission of the ERC, 1747
Resource Management, 12/e Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 2006,
www.ethics.org. Reprinted in O. C. Ferrell, John Fraedrich, and Linog 14–3
Ferrell, Business Ethics (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008) , p. 61.
Ethics and Fair Treatment at Work
• The Meaning of Ethics
 The principles of conduct governing
an individual or a group.
 The standards you use to decide
what your conduct should be.
 Ethical behavior depends on a
person’s frame of reference.
• Ethical Decisions
 Normative judgments
 Morality

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–4
Ethics and Fair Treatment at Work
(continued)

A behavior may be legal


but unethical.

A behavior may be illegal


but ethical.
Ethics and
the Law A behavior may be both
legal and ethical.

A behavior may be both


illegal and unethical.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–5
Ethics, Fair Treatment, and Justice

Components of
Organizational Justice

Interactional
Distributive Procedural
(Interpersonal)
Justice Justice
Justice

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–6
FIGURE 14–2
Perceptions
of Fair
Interpersonal
Treatment
Scale

Source: Michelle A. Donovan et al., “The Perceptions of Their


Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd Interpersonal Treatment Scale: Development and Validation of
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human a Measure of Interpersonal Treatment in the Workplace,”
Resource Management, 12/e Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, no. 5 (1998), p. 692.
14–7
What Shapes Ethical Behavior at Work?

Individual
Factors

The Organization’s Organizational


Culture Ethical Behavior Factors
At Work

Ethical Policies The Boss’s


and Codes Influence

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–8
TABLE 14–2 Principal Causes of Ethical Compromises (in U.S. employees)
Front- Prof.
Senior Middle Line Non- Admin.
Mgmt. Mgmt. Supv. Mgmt. Salaried Hourly

Meeting schedule pressure 1 1 1 1 1 1

Meeting overly aggressive


financial or business
objectives 3 2 2 2 2 2

Helping the company survive 2 3 4 4 3 4

Advancing the career


interests of my boss 5 4 3 3 4 5

Feeling peer pressure 7 7 5 6 5 3

Resisting competitive threats 4 5 6 5 6 7

Saving jobs 9 6 7 7 7 6

Advancing my own career or


financial interests 8 9 9 8 9 8

Other 6 8 8 9 8 9
Sources: O. C. Ferrell and John Fraedrich, Business Ethics, 3rd ed. (New York:
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd Note: 1 is high, 9 is low. Houghton Mifflin, 1997), p. 28; adapted from Rebecca Goodell, Ethics in American
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human Business: Policies, Programs, and Perceptions (1994), p. 54. Permission provided
courtesy of the Ethics Resource Center, 1120 6th Street NW, Washington, DC:
Resource Management, 12/e
20005. 14–9
Evidences from India
KPMG India Fraud Survey 2010
 45% of the surveyed Indian companies
experienced increased fraudulent activities.
 Reasons for this are increased ethical values
and a failure on the part of the companies to act
against fraud.
Team Lease Survey 2008 Results
 68% agreements are fine with doing personal
work during office hours.
 68% agreements were fine with taking personal
printouts or photocopying in office.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–10
Employees and Ethical Dilemmas
• Questions employees should ask when faced
with ethical dilemmas:
 Is the action legal?
 Is it right?
 Who will be affected?
 Does it fit the company’s values?
 How will it “feel” afterwards?
 How will it look in the newspaper?
 Will it reflect poorly on the company?

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–11
What Is Organizational Culture?
• Organizational culture
 The characteristic values, traditions, and behaviors a
company’s employees share.
• How is culture revealed?
 Ceremonial events
 Written rules and spoken commands
 Office layout
 Organizational structure
 Dress codes
 Cultural symbols and behaviors
 Figureheads
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–12
Human Resource Management’s Role in
Promoting Ethics and Fair Treatment

Ethics
Selection
Training

Reward and
Performance HRM–Related
Disciplinary
Appraisal Ethics Activities Systems

Workplace HR’s Ethics and


Aggression and Compliance
Violence Activities

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–13
HRM-Related Ethics Activities
• Selection
 Fostering the perception of fairness in the processes
of recruitment and hiring of people.
 Formal procedures
 Interpersonal treatment
 Providing explanations
 Selection tools
 Two-way communication

• Training
 How to recognize ethical dilemmas.
 How to use ethical frameworks to resolve problems.
 How to use HR functions in ethical ways.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–14
HRM-Related Ethics Activities (continued)
• Performance Appraisal
 Appraisals that make it clear that the company
adheres to high ethical standards by measuring and
rewarding employees who follow those standards.
• Reward and Disciplinary Systems
 The organization swiftly and harshly punishes
unethical conduct.
• Workplace Aggression and Violence
 Taking care that HR actions do not foster perceptions
of inequities that translate into dysfunctional
behaviors by employees.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–15
HRM-Related Ethics Activities (continued)
• HR’s Ethics Compliance Activities
 Complying with various legislations.
 Requires that the CEO and the CFO of publicly traded
companies personally attest to the accuracy of their
companies’ financial statements and that its internal controls
are adequate.
 Increased the need for ethics training and verification of
training.

 Firms are using online ethics training programs to


comply with the act’s requirements.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–16
Building Two-Way Communications

Perceptions of fair
treatment depend on:

Expectation
Engagement Explanation
Clarity

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–17
Employee Discipline and Privacy

Fair and Just


Discipline
Process

Clear Rules A System of


An Appeals
and Progressive
Process
Regulations Penalties

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–18
Guidelines for Fair Discipline
• Does evidence support the charge of employee wrongdoing?
• Were the employee’s due process rights protected?
• Was the employee warned of disciplinary consequences?
• Was a rule violated and was it “reasonably related” to the efficient
and safe operation of the work environment?
• Was the matter fairly and adequately investigated before
administering discipline?
• Did the investigation produce substantial evidence of misconduct?
• Have rules, orders, or penalties been applied evenhandedly?
• Is the penalty reasonably related to the misconduct and to the
employee’s past work history?
• Did anger, hearsay, or personal impression affect the decision?

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–19
FIGURE 14–5
Disciplinary
Action Form

Source: Reprinted from www.HR.BLR.com with


permission of the publisher Business and Legal
Reports, Inc., 141 Mill Rock Road East, Old
Saybrook, CT © 2004.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–20
Formal Disciplinary Appeals Processes
• FedEx's Multi-Step Guaranteed Fair Treatment
Program
 Step 1: Management review
 Step 2: Officer complaint
 Step 3: Executive appeals review

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–21
Discipline Without Punishment
(Nonpunitive Discipline)
1. Issue an oral reminder.
2. Should another incident arise within six weeks, issue a
formal written reminder, a copy of which is placed in
the employee’s personnel file.
3. Give a paid, one-day “decision-making leave.”
4. If no further incidents occur in the next year, then
purge the one-day paid suspension from the person’s
file. If the behavior is repeated, the next step is
dismissal.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–22
Employee Privacy
• Employee privacy violations upheld by courts:
 Intrusion
 Publication of private matters
 Disclosure of medical records
 Appropriation of an employee’s name or likeness
• Actions triggering privacy violations:
 Background checks
 Monitoring off-duty conduct and lifestyle
 Drug testing
 Workplace searches
 Monitoring of workplace
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–23
Employee Privacy (continued)
• What Is Monitored:
 Identity
 Location
 E-mail activity and Internet use
 Telephone calls
• Why Employers Monitor:
 To guard against liability for illegal acts and
harassment suits caused by employee misuse.
 To improve productivity.
 To detect leaks of confidential information.
 To protect against computer viruses.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–24
Managing Dismissals
• Dismissal
 Involuntary termination of an employee’s
employment with the firm.
• Terminate-at-Will Rule
 Without a contract, the employee can resign for any
reason, at will, and the employer can similarly
dismiss the employee for any reason (or no reason),
at will.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–25
Managing Dismissals (continued)

Protections Against
Wrongful Discharge

Statutory Common Law Public Policy


Exceptions Exceptions Exceptions

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–26
Grounds for Dismissal

Unsatisfactory Performance

Misconduct
Bases for
Dismissal
Lack of Qualifications

Changed Requirements of
(or Elimination of) the Job

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–27
Insubordination
1. Direct disregard of the boss’s authority.
2. Direct disobedience of, or refusal to obey, the boss’s
orders, particularly in front of others.
3. Deliberate defiance of clearly stated company policies,
rules, regulations, and procedures.
4. Public criticism of the boss.
5. Blatant disregard of reasonable instructions.
6. Contemptuous display of disrespect.
7. Disregard for the chain of command.
8. Participation in (or leadership of) an effort to
undermine and remove the boss from power.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–28
Managing Dismissals (continued)
• Fostering Perceptions of Fairness in Dismissals
 Have a supervising manager give full explanations
of why and how termination decisions were made.
 Institute a formal multi-step procedure (including
warning).
 Establish a neutral appeal process.

• Security Measures
 Disable employee passwords and network access.
 Collect all company property and keys.
 Escort employee from company property.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–29
FIGURE 14–9 Typical Severance Pay

• Nonexempt employee—one week of pay for each year with a minimum of


four weeks and maximum of two months.
• Exempt employee to $90,000—two weeks for each year with a minimum of
two months and a maximum of six months.
• Exempt employee over $90,000 to director or VP level—two to three weeks
for each year with a minimum of three months and maximum of nine
months.
• Director or VP to company officer—three weeks for each year with a
minimum of four months and maximum of a year.
• Officer—usually covered by an employment contract or Change of Control
provisions and can be all the way from one year of pay to three or four
years, with other perks that may be continued.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human Source: www.shrm.org, Accessed March 6, 2004.
Resource Management, 12/e
14–30
Personal Supervisory Liability
• Avoiding Personal Supervisory Liability
 Be familiar with applicable statutes and know how
to uphold their requirements.
 Follow company policies and procedures.
 Be consistent with application of rules or regulations.
 Don’t administer discipline in a manner that adds
to the emotional hardship on the employee.
 Allow employees to tell their side of the story.
 Do not act in anger.
 Utilize the HR department for advice regarding how
to handle difficult disciplinary matters.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–31
Termination Assistance
• Outplacement Counseling
 A systematic process by which a terminated
employee is trained and counseled in the techniques
of conducting a self-appraisal and securing a new
job appropriate to his or her needs and talents.
 Does not imply that the employer takes
responsibility for placing the person in a new job.
 Is part of the terminated employee’s support or
severance package and is often done by
specialized outside firms.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–32
Termination Assistance (continued)
• Outplacement Firms
 Can help the employer devise its dismissal plan
regarding:
 How to break the news to dismissed employees.
 Dealing with dismissed employees’ emotional
reactions.
 Institutingthe appropriate severance pay and
equal opportunity employment plans.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–33
Interviewing Departing Employees
• Exit Interview
 Its aim is to elicit information about the job or related
matters that might give the employer a better insight
into what is right—or wrong—about the company.
 The assumption is that because the employee is
leaving, he or she will be candid.
 The quality of information gained from exit
interviews is questionable.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–34
FIGURE 14–11
Employee Exit
Interview
Questionnaire

Source: http://www.fin.ucar.edu/forms/HR/
exit_form/exit.pdf. Accessed May 24, 2007.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–35
FIGURE 14–11
Employee Exit
Interview
Questionnaire
(continued)

Source: http://www.fin.ucar.edu/forms/HR/
exit_form/exit.pdf. Accessed May 24, 2007.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–36
Lockouts, Layoffs, Retrenchments and Closures
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 regulates lockouts, layoffs,
retrenchments and closures in India.
Lockout
• Lockout is the closing of a place of employment or suspension of
work or refusal by an employer to give work (Section 2 (I)).
Layoffs
• Layoffs are the failure, refusal or inability of an employer to give
employment to those whose name appear on the employment roll
of the establishment. Laid-off employees are entitled to
compensation.
Retrenchment
• Establishments are allowed to retrench employees by giving one
month’s notice and by paying compensation at the rate of 15 days’
salary for each completed year of service.
Closure
• Establishments employing more than 100 workmen are allowed
closure only after obtaining prior permission of the government
(Section 25FFA).
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–37
Layoffs and Downsizing
• Alternatives to Downsizing
 Voluntarily reducing employees’ pay.
 Concentrating employees’ vacations.
 Taking voluntary time off.
 Releasing temporary workers.

 Offering early retirement buyout packages.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–38
Adjusting to Downsizings and Mergers
• Reduction in Work Force Guidelines
 Identify objectives and constraints.
 Form a downsizing team.
 Address legal issues.
 Plan post-reduction actions.
 Address security concerns.

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–39
Adjusting to Downsizings and Mergers
(continued)
• Guidelines for treatment of departing
employees during a merger:
 Avoid the appearance of power and domination.
 Avoid win–lose behavior.

 Remain businesslike and professional.


 Maintain a positive feeling about the acquired
company.
 Remember that how the organization treats the
acquired group will affect those who remain.
Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd
Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–40
KEY TERMS

ethics wrongful discharge


ethics code unsatisfactory performance
distributive justice Misconduct
procedural justice Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
interactional (interpersonal) insubordination
justice termination interview
organizational culture outplacement counseling
nonpunitive discipline exit interviews
Electronic Communications downsizing
Privacy Act (ECPA)
dismissal

Copyright © 2011 Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd


Authorized adaptation from the United States edition of Human
Resource Management, 12/e
14–41