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Culture, ethical leadership and HR policy

Culture, ethical leadership and HR policy
The HR leader can be seen as the �conscience� of an organisation, providing important moral and
ethical leadership when the organisation is confronted with difficult situations. In a diverse organisation,
such difficult situations can arise when individuals from different backgrounds and cultures come in close
Different groups can have differing notions of what constitutes ethical behaviour, what is �fair� and how
to define the rights and responsibilities of employees. As you consider the role of HR policy in minimising
potential conflict within a diverse workforce, focus on the ethical dimension of HRM as an influence in
policy development, and in anticipating and addressing differing ethical standards.

Analysis of HR Policy in Managing a Diverse Workforce

The management of a diverse workforce in consideration of the ethical standards and
norms of an organization focuses on a company’s initiative in maximizing the capacity of the
employees in contributing to the ethical goals of the organization (Cooren, Kuhn, Cornelissen &
Clark, 2011, pp.1146). Through an affirmative action in the implementation of HR policies
directed towards managing diversity, an organization is in a position to incorporate the ethical
necessities that addresses some of the unethical practices such as discrimination. HR policies, an
organization can plan on initiating measurable ways that diversity can support the objectives,
goals, strategic direction and the culture of an organization. This therefore builds an

organizations diversity plan on the core values of respect for the dignity of other employees,
credibility, trust and integrity.
Contradictory Ethical Standards as a Source of Conflict in a Diverse Work Environment
Conflicts are inevitable in any human relationship, especially when individuals are
committed to achieve a mission for a long period of time. It is therefore significant to ascertain
that conflicts are likely to rise from the management of different perspectives that seem to be
incompatible (McClure, 2012, pp.128). In consideration of this, conflicts are subject to arise
from contradictory ethical standards since this would involve incompatible preferences, practices
and principles that employees believe such as ethics, political views and religion.
This exchange may be considered as unhealthy especially in the event that no ideas are
exchanged, a factor that may result in employee turnovers, increased work stresses, several
litigations that are directed towards claims of hostility within the wok environment (Armstrong,
2014, pp.8). An instance of this can be depicted in a case where an employee is raised in a
community that believes when an individual folds the sleeves of his shirt it would mean
disrespect or readiness to fight. Within a work environment, a worker may choose to fold the
sleeves of his shirt with a different objective, a factor that would result into a conflict between
the workers.

Recommending Interventions on Addressing Ethical Issues
In hand ling and addressing some of the ethical issues that arise from conflicts in a
diverse workforce, organizations and management teams need to develop and implement
workplace policies based on their company’s philosophies, code of conduct and mission
statement (Bamberger, Biron, & Meshoulam, 2014, pp.65). These policies consequently need to
be incorporated into the performance management programs with the aim of holding the

workforce accountable for their actions. This therefore ensures that they are aware of the
responsibilities that follow them in upholding professional standards within their job areas and
the manner in which they interact with their subordinates and peers.
On the other hand, it is significant that organizations ensure workplace ethics training is
conducted on the employees through the use of varied instructional approaches that ensure the
employees’ are engaged in the learning process in resolving ethical dilemmas (Marchington, &
Suter, 2012, pp.287). On the other hand, an organization may designate on Ombudsperson who
is equipped in handling the conflicts that arise within an organization. In addition to this, an
organization also needs to have an ethics hotline that allows employees to access confidential
services in events where they may not share their workplace dilemmas with the managers.
Lastly, an organization may also consider applying its own workplace policy in a
consistent manner while addressing some of the conflicts that arise within the work environment
in relation to work ethics (Wright, 2014, pp.145). Communicating these expectations among the
employees is additionally essential since this builds a collective commitment between the
workers in managing some of the conflicts they encounter.



Armstrong, M. 2014 “Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice”, 13th ed.
London: Kogan Page pp.12
Bamberger, P., Biron, M. & Meshoulam, I. 2014.” Human resource strategy: formulation,
implementation and impact”, 2nd ed. London: Routledge
Cooren, F., Kuhn, T., Cornelissen, J. & Clark, T. 2011. “Communication, organizing and
organization”. An introduction to the special issue. Organization Studies, 32(9), 1149-

Marchington, M. & Suter, J. 2012 “Where informality really matters: Patterns of employee
involvement and participation in a non-union firm” Industrial Relations 52 (1) pp. 284-
McClure, L. 2012. Anger and conflict in the workplace: spot the signs, avoid the trauma.
Manassas Park, VA: Impact Publications pp.123-165.

Wright, A., 2014. “Organizational routines as embodied performatives”: A communication as
constitutive of organization perspective, Organization, 7.pp.140-154

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