Human Dignity, Workplace Democracy and the Employee Life Cycle

In her analysis of the ethical side of HRM, Greenwood (2002) concluded that even though ‘soft’ theories of HRM have been developed, looking at the more human side of HRM, in reality they are almost always ‘hard’, or focused on organizational outcomes such as performance. Such a focus indicates a lack of appreciation for Kantian views on the role of the employee in the organization. It is therefore needed to explicitly integrate the human dignity perspective with HRM-theory and research. Central to the concept of HRM are the policies and practices it includes. Organizations implement HRM through designing policies and practices which are used for and by employees (Jiang et al. 2013). We structure the remainder of this chapter around the idea of the employee life cycle (Hall 1984) and its attendant HR practices (e.g., Armstrong 2012; Marchington and Wilkinson 2013). More specifically, the employee life cycle begins even before an employee has joined an organization, as the organization first has to attract suitable candidates. One of the first tasks of HR is thus to achieve the right branding and then the right resourcing (recruitment plus deployment) of the new employee. Once employees are in, they need to know what will be expected of them and thus performance and reward management are key. To grow, develop, and adapt to a constantly changing business world, learning and development (L&D) practices and talent management practices are important. Like any rela?tionship, there will be challenging times and thus employee relations practices (e.g., voicing practices), are also discussed. Lastly, we discuss exit management practices. Each of these HR practices will be discussed in relation to human dignity and workplace democracy.

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