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Strategic Human Resource Management Theories and Ethics

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Human Resources
Wordcount: 2964 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Strategic human resource management

Professional and ethical values

Dynamics of HR ethics

Two contemporary ethical issues in HRM

The solution for the mentioned issues





Strategic human resource management


Strategic human resource management can be defined as an approach which is totally based on skills and competency in order to an effective function for the HR management. The approach basically keep the focus on the development of the human resource for the competitive advantage, by this approach its easy to defines that how an organization can achieve its goals, with the help of appropriate workforce by HR strategies along with the integrated policy means. Strategic HRM can also be overviewed as an approach in regards to employment relationship like, hiring the new employees, training them in an effective way, performance management, development and the employee relationship. It can also be described as a branch of management which has the entire focus on how to utilize people’s ability and skills in an organized way so they can play their part effectively to achieve the goals of the organization.


The main key goal of Strategic Human Resource Management is to resolve any issue related to the business difficulties or objectives that may don’t have the chance of occurrence in the straight purview of human resource management, this must be done via operative HRM itself. For example an unethical behavior of an employee such as taking bribe or unmannerly behave with the customers or fellow team members must be treated in a positive manner which can set an example for the other staff as well, but the New Zealand privacy act (1993) clearly states that every decision or process must be performed in a confidential manner and So in short the strategic human resource management is basically a presentable tuning of the HRM to work as per the business objectives. Strategic Human Resource Management requires an effective and perfect teamwork between the higher management and the head of the Human Resource.

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The theories of Strategic management are a combination of four major theories like, Behavioral role theory which considers behaviors of the employee as one of the key to a positive strategy implementation, as its been believed by the theorists that by keeping a healthy alignment between the policies of HR with business wide strategy, the staff can accomplish their expected role in the company, which could be proved as a key to make the business a successful and positive one. Other theory is resource based theory (McGee, 2002), which suggests that human resource has the required sustainable competitive advantage for any company and the main reason for that is that, HR is incomparable and also a source which is non-substitutable for accomplishing the competitive advantage. Third major theory of strategic HRM is “Human capital theory” and this particular theory reflects the strategic significance to the human resource just like all the other financial assets as skills, knowledge, and the capabilities of employees of the company also has the potential of the economic value. The fourth and final major theory of SHRM is “transaction cost theory”, which has the suggestion that strategic HR tactic has the ability to ensure the cost minimization as by use of it periodic monitoring can be enhance along with the governance (Mbaskool).


 Just like any other department the HRM also face some of the crucial challenges. Like Cross cultural interaction, which can be seen as the biggest barrier in every organization, different culture habits clashes with each other at the workplace and that’s where strategic HRM plays its part and resolve such issues. In New Zealand is a multicultural nation (HRC , 2018) the HR departments here take all the appropriate measures to encourage, which makes the working environment pleasant for the employees. Sometimes the change in the ownership of the business also distracts the focus of the employees as that could result in the change in the business environments as well. advancements in the technological aspect also a crucial factor which put some real challenge in front of the HRM these days as some of the employees are fine with the technology while some struggles in getting used to it. The major pillars on which Strategic Human Resource Management is relied can be categorized on believes like, humans can be treated as resources only but they should be seen as a vital asset for the organization, which has the ability to provide the required competitive edge to the company. The employees are the key within the company who really implement required changes and play their part in accomplishing business goals. Every single change (regardless of the size) is attainable only if a proper sustainable planning is there which is also followed by the perfect execution with all due respect to the organizational objectives. The key and most constructive aim of the strategic HRM is to focus on the various positive ways which can help the firm in taking an edge over the competitors of it in the market.


 Strategic Human Resource Management can be define as a perfect way to make effective use of the planning and align it with the organizational goals, use a coherent approach in managing and people at the workplace, to develop a system based on the workforce strategy and employment policy of the firm. Bring out the perfect coordination between general policies and HR activities and to develop an effective business strategy. In the end it’s recommended that in order to make perfect usage of the SHRM the people or employees in the company should be considered as a resources which must be utilized in achieving the competitive edge by building the best of them.


(A)Professional and ethical values

Ethical integrity:

The very first ethical value of the human resources professionals is that they should contribute to the ethical integrity of the organization they work in. HR professionals must comply with every law as it will help them to make ethical decisions for the betterment of the business and the company. It is essential for them to commit good standard of professional responsibility. For example the HR department of any company must know all the legal requirements to run the company in a professional way. (Cornerstoneondemand, 2018)

(B)Dynamics of HR ethics

Image source: (GANDIA, 2011)

Ethical framework

Fairness and Justice

HR department must play their part to create a healthy atmosphere that appreciates the employees and supports the business entities. For example, they must take a noticeable role in removing bias decisions and providing same opportunities to every staff member. (Cornerstoneondemand, 2018)

The Common Good Approach

This approach to ethics assumes a society that includes people whose own good is inextricably linked to the good of the community. Community members are required to seek common values and goals. The common good is a concept that was created more than 2,000 years ago in the writings of Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. Recently, modern ethics John Rawls described the common good as “some general conditions that are … tantamount to benefit everyone.”

The Virtue Approach

The virtuous approach to ethics assumes that there are certain ideals to which we must strive. These ideals ensure the full development of our humanity and are discovered through reflective reflection on what kind of people we have potential. Virtues are attitudes or character traits that allow us to be and act in a way that develops our highest potential. They allow us to realize the ideals we have adopted. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, loyalty, honesty, impartiality, self-control and prudence are examples of the virtues often cited throughout the world.

The Utilitarian Approach

Utilitarianism was conceived in the nineteenth century by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill to help legislators determine which laws are morally superior. Both Bentham and Mill have suggested that ethical actions are those that provide the best balance between good and evil. To analyze the problem using a utilitarian approach, we first identify the different ways of working for us. Secondly, we ask who will influence each action and what benefits or damages will result from each action. Thirdly, we choose the action that will bring the greatest benefits and the least damage.

Ethical framework and two contemporary ethical issues in HRM

Following are the explanation of the two HRM’s contemporary ethical issues

Image source (Hensley, 2016)

Identified two issues

Downsizing: – This particular issue is about the prearranged removal of individual from the jobs in a company, for example it has happened with the Fisher & Paykel NZ (EDMUNDS, 2016) when they decided to shut down one of the oldest factory in the East Tamaki area of Auckland, people who lost their jobs were a big headache for the HR department of the company. (Hensley, 2016)

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Sexual harassment: – This issues has been faced by some of the biggest firms like Uber (BHUIYAN, 2017), it can be defined as an undesirable action of sexual nature that can affects an employee’s employment. Uber is the good example for it as there have been numerous complaints from the female employees of sexual harassment at the workplace. (Hensley, 2016)

The solution for the mentioned issues and justification

Provide honest and open communication: – The first issue of downsizing can be effectively handed by organizing a meeting in which a honest communication should take place and the employees must be informed about the reason for the particular development as the above mentioned firm (Fisher & Paykel NZ) did, they presented the real picture about the less productivity of the company which lead them to make such decision. The other best way to deal with such issue is reassure the survivors of the downsizing and by providing best opportunity to them.

The sexual harassment can be tackled by going through the criminal history check of an individual and that’s what has been done by Uber, previously the company wasn’t even looking at the criminal history of the people, which led to so many cases of the sexual harassment at the workplace. After some of the incidents the firm has decided to look at the criminal history of the people, which has proved positive for the company along with setting appropriate guidelines of ethical behavior at the workplace.


Strategic management is different from the regular operational management and it tries to form the stable and long-term strategies to reach the organizational goals. The main focus of the strategic management is not the performance goals but the overall goals of the company. Strategic goals can be seen as a combination of

      Diversification

      Adding up another market segment

      Reducing the debt of the company

      Controlling the various operational costs

      Improving the workforce quality

      To evaluate the success of your strategic plans

Evaluating the management strategies

Strategic management help to determine whether the company is taking all the appropriate measures to reach the strategic goals, and that can be done by keeping the professional and ethical values in mind, as it will help the firm, to complete the tasks on schedule and within the budget. The ethical values also evaluate that whether the companies have to make some adjustments by creating a step-by-step method that can help the firm to review the company’s performance. The initial step is to set up some of the specific strategic goals, for example, planning to expand the company’s operations in a new market segment. The fairness in the workplace along with the ethical integrity can help the company to set up the goals and also create the appropriate steps to accomplish those goals. Dynamics of the human resource management can helps the company to decide that how it’s going to pursue the organizational goals. Dynamics like development in the technology can prove helpful in setting up deadlines for the task completion along with keeping the budget as the benchmarks for it. Other dynamics like continual improvement can be achieved by reviewing the company’s performance every month or even quarterly. The contemporary ethical issues has been described and explained briefly in the Task 2 and both of them are significant for the company as the first one related to cutting down the employee number, but it must be done in such a way that it won’t backfire for the company and the honest communication should be there, as it can clarify the company’s situation and also justify the decision made by the company. To manage the diversity at the workplace is another ethical issue for the HR department and the best way to deal with it is that the selection criteria of the company must be discrimination free and fair so it can contribute in maintaining the workplace organized and conflict-free. Another ethical issue described in the report is the sexual harassment at the workplace which is turning out to be one of the biggest issues these days and it can become and if it’s not being sorted early it can become a big issue for the company.

At last the report contains the strategic solutions for the issue and the best way to deal with those issues to maintain an open and honest strategy at the workplace, as this strategy has the potential to get rid of all the issues and if this has been combined with the proper guidelines for the employees than it can have the positive impact on the company’s performance.



  • BHUIYAN, J. (2017, JUNE 30). Uber is being sued by two separate women claiming sexual assault by its drivers. Retrieved from www.recode.net: https://www.recode.net/2017/6/30/15904770/uber-lawsuit-sexual-assault-negligence-background-checks
  • Cornerstoneondemand. (2018). Retrieved from www.cornerstoneondemand.com: https://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/ethical-guidelines-human-resources
  • EDMUNDS, S. (2016, April 5). Fisher & Paykel announces plan to shut East Tamaki factory, 186 staff affected. Retrieved from www.stuff.co.nz: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78593964/fisher–paykel-announces-plan-to-shut-east-tamaki-factory-186-staff-affected
  • Friedman, E. (2013, July 18). 4 External Factors that Affect Human Resource Management. Retrieved from workology.com: https://workology.com/4-external-factors-that-affect-human-resource-management/
  • GANDIA, L. (2011, July 30). Hr functions and strategy ppt. Retrieved from www.slideshare.net: https://www.slideshare.net/LolitaMamoregandia/hr-functions-and-strategy-ppt
  • Hensley, B. (2016). Human Resource Management. Retrieved from slideplayer.com: http://slideplayer.com/slide/7260220/
  • HRC . (2018). HRC congratulates Multicultural New Zealand on milestone report. Retrieved from www.hrc.co.nz: https://www.hrc.co.nz/news/hrc-congratulates-multicultural-new-zealand/
  • Mbaskool. (n.d.). Strategic Human Resource Management SHRM. Retrieved from www.mbaskool.com: https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms/7152-strategic-human-resource-management-shrm.html
  • McGee, W. C. (2002). Competence and Competitive Advantage: Towards a Dynamic Model*. British Academy of Management 1999.


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