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The moral autonomy of human resource managers


Macklin, RB, The moral autonomy of human resource managers, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 44, (2) pp. 211-221. ISSN 1038-4111 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 Australian Human Resources Institute

DOI: doi:10.1177/1038411106066397


Moral autonomy is a concept drawn from moral philosophy that can help build an understanding of the ethical dimension of human resource (HR) managers' roles. In this article I suggest that the concept be used to avoid simplistically viewing HR managers as either irrelevant to the ethics of human resource management (HRM) or capable of guaranteeing moral HR practices. Drawing on the findings of a qualitative study I argue that HR managers face 'relative' moral autonomy. While their capacity to ensure decency in the management of human recourses is inevitably constrained, we must not assume away the possibility that they can be important moral actors who play a role in, and have a responsibility for, determining how ethical HRM is in any organization. Moreover, this capacity should be fostered by the HR profession and academic commentators given the growing decollectivization and decentralization of employment relations in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:HR managers, moral autonomy, relative autonomy
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Business ethics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Business ethics
UTAS Author:Macklin, RB (Dr Rob Macklin)
ID Code:78454
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2012-06-28
Last Modified:2012-11-26
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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