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Functional Role of HR as it Relates to Ethics


Human resource managers play a vital role in every organization in ensuring that all staffs observe ethical conduct in their operations. The success of ethical management in any organization does not depend on establishment of programs that aims at instilling ethics on all staffs. Instead, it depends on the how staffs perceive to be treated fairly in the organization, the degree of ethical conduct by Hr in all departments within an organization as well as the manner in which Hr are trying to align all systems within an organization to ensure that they enhance ethical conduct among the staffs. It is important to note that HR plays significant role in every organization in making sure that staffs comply with established ethics (Pavithira & Yuvarani, 2009, para. 1). They also advocate for ethical conduct among staffs as well as change.

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Functional Role of human resource (HR)

Fairness and justice

Human resource has the duty of fostering justice and fairness in all levels of operations within an organization. This is to ensure that an organization comes up with an environment that allows every employee to fully exploit his or her potential. It is the responsibility of HR to address all the staffs with respect, dignity and consideration so as to get rid of discrimination and intimidation within an organization. In addition, HR manager, in collaboration with compliance office makes a follow up of all ethical complains presented by employees. This is to ensure that their complaints are well attended so as to bring about a perception of fairness among the staffs (Society for Human Resource Management, 2007, para. 4). Failure by HR managers to ensure that an organization comply with all set ethics may lead to employees reciprocating by failing to work hard towards realization of organizational goals.

Ethical leadership

It is the duty of every Hr to demonstrate ethical leadership when carrying out his or her duties. This is to advocate for other staffs to also follow the suit. Generally, all staffs within an organization look for mentorship from their leaders. To advocate for ethical conduct in an organization, HR has to also ensure that he or she always demonstrate ethical leadership. This facilitates in setting the standards of ethical conduct in organization that are in return followed by other staffs (Society for Human Resource Management, 2007, para. 3). In addition, portraying ethical leadership leads to a HR earning respect from his employees thus making it possible for them to adhere to all he or she asks from them. As a result, everyone within the organization becomes accountable for the outcome of the project. Hence, every staff strives to play his or her role ethically so as to facilitate in the success of the project.

Making ethical changes

Human resource managers have the responsibility of coming up with guidelines to be used in enhancing employee performance management as well as establishing new career development strategies. As a result, HR manager has the duty of coming up with management systems that holds every employee accountable of ethical issues affecting their areas of operations. In addition, they ensure that they include ethical dimensions in every career development program established in the organization (Pavithira & Yuvarani, 2009, para. 6). This helps in bringing in ethical changes among the employees and the management team.

Benefits of HR functions in ethics management

There are numerous benefits accrues from the role of Hr in ethics management. Some of them include fairness in the organization and growth of the organization. By Hr ensuring that everybody in the organization conducts him or herself ethically, it leads to fairness in the organization. Consequently, a favorable environment is established where every staff is capable of exploiting his or her potential thus enhancing organizational growth (Weaver & Trevino, 2001, pp. 113-122).

Limitations of HR functions in ethics management

Despite ethical management being instrumental in enhancing organizational growth, it may also lead to retarded growth of an organization. In an instance where staffs find to be nagged by HR in their effort to ensure that everybody comply with established ethical regulations, they may rebel by not committing themselves to organizational goals. This may lead to an organization not attaining its goals within the set period. In addition, ethics management requires time and resources. This adds to costs within an organization as HR spends time coming up with ethical regulations as well as in seeing that all ethical requirements are obeyed (Weaver & Trevino, 2001, pp. 123-134). This time could be spent doing other things such as running and managing certain projects within an organization.


HR plays a significant role in ensuring that employees comply with established ethical standards. This is by ensuring that there is fairness among all staffs within an organization. It is their duty to make a follow up on all ethical complaints reported by staffs to ensure that they are addressed. They also advocate for ethical conduct within an organization by ensuring that they conduct themselves ethically. Consequently, they act as role models to other employees. Being responsible of bringing constructive changes in their organizations, HR ensures that they incorporate ethical dimensions in all their changes. This ethical management by HR brings about fairness in the organization and also foster organizational growth. However, if not well implemented, it may lead to conflicts within an organization thus making it hard for an organization to attain its goals.

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Reference List

  1. Pavithira, C. & Yuvarani, R. (2009). The Key role of HR in organizational ethics.
  2. Society for Human Resource Management. (2007). SHRM code of ethics.
  3. Weaver, G. R. & Trevino, L. K. (2001). The role of human resources in ethics/compliance management: a fairness perspective. Human Resource Management Review, 11(2), pp. 113-134.

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