attached is the discussion instructions and reading material and link to video or article. please respond substantively to the instructions using the chapter reading and article or video to support claims.
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Corporate Social Responsibility:
Organizations are increasingly concerned with sustainability and corporate social responsibility whether for business, legal, or values-based reasons. The HR function is uniquely positioned to
assist in both developing and implementing a sustainability strategy.
Go to The Guardian’s Corporate Social Responsibility page and select a video or article from the
list provided. If possible, avoid selecting videos or articles already chosen and discussed by
classmates. After viewing the video or reading the article you have selected, provide a summary
of it and a response to the following discussion prompts:
Explain how the organization in the video or article demonstrates corporate social
Explain HR’s role in formulating corporate values and developing an overall business
Identify examples of sustainable HR practices that support a culture of corporate social
Use this week’s lecture as a basis for your post. Reference the source and cite the textbook in
your original post
Reference and link:
Corporate social responsibility. (n.d.). Retrieved from
The Ethics of HRD and
Corporate Social Responsibility
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
• Summarize the issues of ethical HRD.
• Describe HRD’s social responsibility.
• Explain social responsibility at the operational level.
• Evaluate work–life balance issues.
• Examine the critical perspective of HRD through the social history of training.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
1. Using a one-size-fits-all model of employee training contradicts ethical principles for
human resource development.
2. Organizations with dedicated corporate social responsibility programs tend to rank
lower and report less return on investment than other companies.
3. The glass ceiling that can keep qualified women and minorities out of leadership positions often manifests as a lack of access to training development.
4. Multitasking is a focusing strategy that allows employees to accomplish more and
5. Rather than simply supporting workers, historically training programs have often
served as means of oppression.
Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.
In this, our final chapter, we now change our focus from HRD as the interdisciplinary field
with the processes and goals to enhance employee performance through learning, to HRD’s
impact on, and responsibilities to, the environment in which it operates, both internal and
external. Specifically, as discussed in Chapter 1, we will recall Swanson’s metaphor for HRD as
a three-legged stool—psychological, economic, and systems—which sat on a base of ethics.
We will discuss HRD not only in the context of ethics, but also as an extension of social responsibility known as corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes organizational
issues such as work–life balance, equal opportunity, and access to career-advancing training
Although the field of human resource development (HRD) is dedicated to the activities and
processes that influence organizational and individual learning and development, HRD has
not ignored or overlooked ethics. As early as 1978, there was an awareness and recommendations of ethical practice for training and development professionals (Clement, Pinto, & Walker,
Ethical Human Resource Development
1978). Currently, there exists the Academy of Human Resource Development’s Standards on
Ethics and Integrity (http://www.ahrd.org).
Recently, however, an emerging theme in HRD surrounds how human resource development is
increasingly expected to facilitate ethics and corporate social responsibility; that is, organizations are taking the initiative to assess and assume responsibility for the organization’s effects
on the environment and impact on social welfare (Ardichvili, 2013; Bierema & D’Abundo,
2004; Hatcher, 2003; Hatcher, 2002; MacKenzie, Garavan, & Garbery, 2012). This expanding
responsibility extends HRD stakeholders to include not only the individual, group, and organization, but also society (Ardichvili, 2013; Bierema & D’Abundo, 2004; McLean, 2004).
By placing this CSR lens onto HRD, we focus in on the so-called triple bottom-line approach
(Savitz, 2013); that is, a balanced attention to both the economic aspects of organizational
performance and the organization’s impact on the environment and attention to social justice
(Bierema & D’Abundo, 2004; Kim, 2012a; MacKenzie et al., 2012; Marquardt & Berger, 2003).
10.1 Ethical Human Resource Development
Not unlike other disciplines, HRD affirmed early on how the field’s effectiveness and credibility depended on ethical practice (Clement et al., 1978; Hatcher, 2010; McLagan & Suhadolnik,
1989; Russ-Eft & Hatcher, 2003; Swanson & Holton, 2001). The initial practice of HRD dealt
with ethical issues that were relatively straightforward, including maintaining confidentiality,
striking a balance between organizational and individual needs, and using influence appropriately (Jerling, 1996; McLagan & Suhadolnik, 1989). McLagan et al. (1989) put forth 13
ethical issues a training and development professional needs to consider:
1. Maintain appropriate confidentiality. For example, do not reveal a trainee’s deficiencies to other organizational members.
2. Decline inappropriate training requests. For example, decline a manager’s request to
create training that is not really needed or to conduct the training at an unnecessarily
expensive venue when more economical venues are adequate.
3. Respect copyrighted sources and intellectual property. For example, acknowledge
the work of an original author whose work is used, and ask permission to use copyrighted training materials.
4. Ensure truth in any claims, data, and recommendations. For example, do not falsify
training results to make them appear better, including the training’s ROI.
5. Balance the organization’s needs with the employee’s training and development needs.
For example, avoid only looking at cost as the sole factor for training effectiveness or
not favoring certain employees for training over others.
6. Ensure that all customers and users have an opportunity to participate and take ownership. For example, be sure to involve line management in the assessment of training
7. Avoid conflicts of interest. For example, do not promote nepotism (favoring family
members) in the marketing to vendors of training programs.
8. Manage personal biases. For example, guard against using training techniques or
modalities that only satisfy the trainer rather than the trainees.
9. Be guided by the trainees’ needs. For example, ensure that training objectives are
guided by the assessment performed in the needs analysis phase of ADDIE.
Ethical Human Resource Development
10. Regarding diversity, show respect for, interest in, and representation in the workplace.
For example, treat trainees equally and avoid discrimination based on sex, race, ethnicity, or age.
11. Be aware of the direct and indirect effects of intervention and act to rectify negative
consequences. For example, consider trainee expectations and even the unintended
effects on the trainees.
12. Price and cost products or services fairly. For example, ensure that training programs
are not overpriced and provide the organization a fair return on investment.
13. Do not use power inappropriately. For example, avoid using personal power to influence training processes to favor certain groups or departments.
Werner and DeSimone (2011) further extended the awareness of ethical HRD practice by
including warnings about the use of deception, as well as the pressure to produce positive ROI
results. For example, a trainer may state some other reason why she is observing the employees in a department rather than the truthful reason of observing to see if they are applying
(level 3) the training they received weeks earlier.
Also, with the growing need for organizations to show competitive advantage, organizations
may tend to focus more on transactional (performance-driven) versus transformational
(developmentally based) outcomes (Rousseau, 1989). Doing so puts additional pressure on
HRD ethical practice. As a result, HRD professionals might feel compelled to show that a training program was effective, especially at times when the HRD professional is the person who
purchases or designs, develops, and implements the training. The implication is that if the
evaluation of that training is shown to be ineffective, the HRD department may lose funding
and support (Werner & DeSimone, 2011).
Different Ethical Frameworks
According to Northouse (2012), in an organizational context, applying business ethics outcomes can be framed from a shareholder to stakeholder continuum. Let us review a few frameworks for organizational ethics:
• Ethical egoism. In this ethical framework, organizations act to create the greatest
benefits they can for themselves. An organization and its employees therefore make
decisions to achieve the organizational goal of maximizing profits. Here is a case
in point from Clemson University’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism: Although
Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Sam Walton greatly benefited humanity by providing it with lightbulbs, cheap automobiles, or cheap consumer retailing, each was
motivated by self-interest and his own satisfaction and fulfillment. With such an
ethical framework, the most efficient and productive businesses can earn the most
profit while simultaneously providing consumers with affordable goods and services
(Clemson University, 2014). From a training and development standpoint, this framework supports the resource-based view of human capital described in Chapter 9;
that is, leveraging the economic benefits of a highly trained and developed workforce
towards achieving competitive advantage.
• Utilitarianism. In this ethical framework, organizations balance their self-interest
with the interests of society. Specifically, they try to benefit the greatest number and
maximize social benefits while minimizing social costs. An example of an organization that practices this is the ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s™, whose social mission
Ethical Human Resource Development
statement articulates such a utilitarian framework (visit http://www.benjerry.com/
values to read the company’s mission statement). Ben and Jerry’s actively seeks out
and financially supports causes that the company feels will have a positive impact on
the community at large. For example, Ben and Jerry’s promotes the Refinery Efficiency
Initiative, whose goal is to reduce refinery accidents to prevent the release thousands
of pounds of toxins into the air; and ETC Group, which strives to promote biodiversity,
democratic technology assessment, and just and sustainable food security and livelihood systems for the benefit of society.
Panera Bread Company, too, has its Panera Cares program, in which customers who are going
through a difficult financial time can “pay whatever they can afford” (“Panera Cares,” 2013)
for food. The training of Panera employees also reflects this ethical framework, and it is a job
requirement that all employees at a Panera Cares location understand or critically reflect on
being a good corporate citizen. Panera Cares workers are specifically trained to deal with
a population that is in need. “What they told us to do is just to smile at every customer, so
even if they don’t want to make eye contact with us, the fact that we’re smiling is a sign that
we’re here and that we care. The smile is everything that will make their day,” (“Panera Cares,”
2013) says employee Yetunde Bankol.
• Altruism. In this ethical framework, actions are moral if their primary purpose is to
promote the best interest of society; naturally, many nonprofit organizations adopt
this framework as part of their mission. Recently, Entrepreneur magazine spotlighted
five organizations considered to be exceptionally altruistic. Included on the list was
the Salesforce.com Foundation, whose a philanthropic approach is to leverage not
only technology and resources, but also its people to build collective knowledge—a
core component of strategic human resource development (Swart, Mann, Brown, &
Price, 2012)—to take action to improve communities throughout the world.
Did You Know? Altruism for Generation Y Employees
According to an article from Forbes on the new generation of employees entering the
workforce, the millennial generation—the so-called generation Y—recent research from the
Center for Work-Life Policy shows that ambition, dedication and, above all, concern for social
welfare are alive and well among this cohort.
Author Sylvia Hewlett writes:
Perhaps it’s not surprising that the children of the Me generation are
developing into a We generation. The baby boomers wanted to stop war and
promote peace; the echo boomers have equally ambitious goals to connect
cultures and save the planet. What’s new is that they not only want their
employers to recognize their enthusiasm, they expect them to support it.
Corporate social responsibility isn’t just talk for Gen Ys. They volunteer
extensively, care deeply and seek employers who feel the same: 88% of Gen
Y women and 82% of Y men believe it’s important to be able to give back to
community through work.
Source: Hewlett, S. A. (2009, July). The altruistic gen Y employee. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/07/gen-y-volunteer-mentorforbes-woman-leadership-community.html
Ethical Human Resource Development
Globalization Means Global HRD
Consider, too, that the practice of ethical HRD may become more complex because many organizations continue to expand globally. For example, of McDonald’s $24 billion in revenue in 2013,
66% was from overseas markets, the majority of its revenue from Europe and Asia (about 400
stores in China alone!). About 315 (45%) of the 700 hotels Marriott is developing will be located
outside North America (Newman, 2014; International Trade Administration, 2014).
Clearly, one HRD framework will not fit all organizations (or countries). As organizations
become more global and diverse, global HRD must adapt its practices. A notable example is
found in Gary McLean, Professor Emeritus of HRD at the University of Minnesota and CEO of
McLean Global Consulting. McLean introduces a general HRD framework to his international
initiatives (such as assessing the gap between the present state and the desired future state),
but then adapts it to the international community and social projects, including projects in
Pakistan, Thailand, and Morocco (McLean, 2004). In Pakistan, for example, McLean and his
colleagues, under a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, worked with a
group of Pakistani consultants from social development agencies and nongovernmental agencies (NGOs) to develop their organization development consulting competencies. In Thailand,
McLean and his colleagues used HRD processes for the purposes of moral, social, and community development; HRD tools identified and assessed leadership development, training, and
social and moral development through retreats and instruction.
These and other projects underscored McLean’s and other HRD practitioners’ assertion that
the field of HRD can ultimately serve all of humanity (Kim, 2012b). McLean particularly has
promoted HRD practice to assist with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for
2015. As articulated by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, the UN’s MDGs
Eradicating extreme poverty continues to be one of the main challenges of
our time, and is a major concern of the international community. Ending this
scourge will require the combined efforts of all, governments, civil society
organizations and the private sector, in the context of a stronger and more
effective global partnership for development. The Millennium Development
Goals set time-bound targets, by which
progress in reducing income poverty,
hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion—while promoting
gender equality, health, education and
be measured. They also embody basic
human rights—the rights of each person on the planet to health, education,
shelter and security. The Goals are
ambitious but feasible and, together
with the comprehensive United Nations
development agenda, set the course for
the world’s efforts to alleviate extreme
poverty by 2015. (as cited in United
Maintaining ethical practices becomes more comNations, n.d.)
plex as companies expand globally.
HRD and Social Responsibility
With global HRD, cross-cultural understanding of the meaning and goals of HRD will vary
from country to country, as will the way HRD is viewed as national policy around the world
(McLean, 2004). For example, how is HRD practiced in India? (See India’s National HRD Network, https://www.nationalhrd.org/about-nhrdn/overview.) Consider that, unlike in the
United States, India has a collectivist culture with a historical focus on the group versus the
individual (Hofstede, 1984; Hong & Lee, 2014). As a result, it is possible that decisions regarding who gets access to career-advancing training in India is influenced by whether or not
the employee is in the in-group. Compare this to the United States, where those decisions
are supposed to be based on qualifications with equal access guided by labor laws (Gelfand,
Chiu, & Hong, 2010). Wang and McLean (2007) suggested discussions be ongoing regarding
the practice of international HRD because the field of HRD still struggles over the meaning
of the term; specifically, they assert that there exists a dilemma in defining international and
Although culture differences make it difficult to operationalize global, homogeneous HRD
practice, Russ-Eft & Hatcher (2003) assert there is a rationale for an international HRD code
of ethics, with the AHRD Standards on Ethics and Integrity providing a good first step, albeit
still tied to a North American view.
10.2 HRD and Social Responsibility
Like other social sciences, HRD invokes at a minimum a do no harm principle, a primary ethical obligation to avoid doing harm to employees of the organization (Bierema & D’Abundo,
2004; Fenwick & Bierema, 2008; Hatcher, 2010; Porter, 2008) and the community from which
they operate. Corporate social responsibility includes organizations who choose to assess
and take the initiative and responsibility for how the organization affects the environment,
as well as social justice and welfare (Ardichvili, 2013; Bierema & D’Abundo, 2004; Hatcher,
2003; Hatcher, 2002; Kopp & Desiderio, 2009; MacKenzie et al., 2012).
This perspective extends HRD stakeholders to include not only the individual, group, and
organizational levels, but also society (Ardichvili, 2013; Bierema & D’Abundo, 2004; McLean,
2004). Corporate social responsibility itself has evolved and is typically divided into four eras
Corporate social stewardship, 1950s–1960s
Corporate social responsiveness, 1960s–1970s
Corporate and business ethics, 1980s–1990s
Corporate and global citizenship, 1990s–21st century
Although the field of HRD continues to demonstrate increasing concern with ethics, integrity, and sustainability, moving away from a strict performance model and evincing a “greater
attention to power r …
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