TOPIC: contemporary people’s management

TOPIC: contemporary people’s management. Your essay is about “Kant’s categorical Imperative on “means and ends” and HRM” This essay is about CPM’s and HRM’s contribution to organisations, society, and humanity. It is designed to allow students to: Explain the contribution of strategic HRM to organisations, and analyse why effective HRM is difficult Describe the various ways that HRM can be pursued in a range of organisations Develop analytical and communication skills appropriate for participating in people management in organisations. Details The ethics of contemporary people management and human resource management: Chapter 15 of your textbook is about “Ethics and HRM”. Do not sum up different versions of human ethics in your essay (this is not a report). Do not discuss too many issues – focus on “a few” issues (e.g. ethics, Kant, means, vs. ends) and discuss these in detail. Do not have sub-headings in your essay (these are for reports NOT essays). Write in “essay format”: “your” introduction introduces the subject (how will I argue). Your essay” might follow this suggested sequence: Your essay should contain: A theoretical perspective to discuss Kant’s “Second Formulation: The Formula of Humanity” (Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end. Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals) Please not that the idea of “respect” does not eliminate Kant’s “means-ends” dictum. Treating people with respect does not indicate that they are no longer merely a means, a tool, a resource. Kantian philosophy provides a clear line between treating people as an “end-in-themselves” (morally good) and treating people as a “means” (immoral). Respect or disrespect does not alter this fundamentally. You “must” Read: Bolton, S. C. & Houlihan, M. 2007. Searching for the human in HRM: theory, practice and workplace contexts, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (excerpts are on vWSU). You “should” read: Macklin, R. 2007. The Morally Decent HR Manager, in: Pinnington, A. et al., Human Resource Management – Ethics and Employment, (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Essay Question: Please answer the following question: Kant’s 2nd Categorical Imperative demands that you should always treat employees as an “end-in-themselves” and not as a means, a tool, a resource. Treating employees as “ends-in-themselves” makes you a morally good person (HR-manager). Question: To be morally good, can HRM ever treat employees as “ends-in-themselves” and not as means, a tool, a resource? Use the “Essay Writing Guide” as supplied to you on vWSU. The length of your essay is 1,500 words. The essay should answer the question using a clear structure (introduction, body and conclusion and no dot points), split into the size of roughly one quarter for introduction, half for main body, and one quarter for conclusion. It must demonstrate evidence of wide reading A minimum of 10 (five in PM’ feedback and five in ethics) academic references are required. Note that most Internet sites are popular references, are not academic references. However, the use of online academic journals contained in the e-collections of the WSU Library website is acceptable, and indeed, strongly encouraged. Avoid quoting your textbook. Check e-resources listed in this unit outline and available through the WSU Library portal. The essay must use the Harvard system of referencing to indicate all sources of information and include an alphabetised reference list of those sources cited in the essay. Do not use Wikipedia as a source for any work undertaken in this unit. Citation of this source will be penalised by way of a loss of marks or more severe penalty. Students should refer to the additional resources available at the HRM vWSU web site. On moral philosophy, refer to the highly regarded expert website: Students must use the Individual Written Paper/ Individual Essay Marking Guide in this learning guide to self-evaluate their case study prior to its submission. A copy of this guide is to be attached to your individual written paper prior to its submission. You can use Turnitin but your essay needs to be submitted as “HARD COPY” to your lecturer/tutor in class. Additional Resources Some Helpful Online Resources: Chapter 6 in Klikauer’s Seven Moralities of HRM ( Other Recommended Sources: Allison, H. et al. (eds.) 2010. The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation, 19 volumes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Altman, M. C. 2014. Kant and applied ethics: the uses and limits of Kant’s practical philosophy, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Arnold, D. G. & Harris, J. D. 2012. Kantian Business Ethics: Critical Perspectives, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Bolton, S. C., & Laaser, K. 2013. Work, employment and society through the lens of moral economy, Work, Employment & Society, 27(3):508-525. Bourke, J. 2011. What it means to be human: reflections from 1791 to the present, Berkeley: Counterpoint (Distributed by Publishers Group West). Cullen, D. 1997. Maslow, Monkeys & Motivational Theory, Organization, 4(3): 355-373. Deligiorgi, K. 2012. The Scope of Autonomy Kant and the Morality of Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Frierson, P. R. 2013. What is the human being?, Abingdon: Routledge. Glock, H. J. 2012. The Anthropological Difference: What Can Philosophers Do To Identify the Differences Between Human & Non-human Animals?, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, v. 70, p. 105-131. Johnsen, R., & Gudmand-Høyer, M. 2010. Lacan & the lack of humanity in HRM, Organization, (17)3: 331-344. Karlsson, J. 2012. Organizational misbehaviour in the workplace: narratives of dignity and resistance, Basingstoke: Palgrave. Klikauer, T 2010. Critical management ethics, Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK. Klikauer, T 2012. Seven management moralities, Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK. èKlikauer, T. 2014. Seven Moralities of HRM, Basingstoke: Palgrave (ch. 6). Klikauer, T. 2014. HRM & Kohlberg’s Scale of Moral Development, Philosophy of Management, 13(1), 73-95. Korsgaard, C. M. 1996. Creating the Kingdom of Ends, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kramar, R, Bartram, T & De Cieri, H 2014, Human resource management in Australia – strategy, people, performance, 5th edn McGraw-Hill, Sydney. [Chapters 1 and 5.] Lavenda, R. H. & Schultz, E. A. 2013. Anthropology: what does it mean to be human? 2nd edn. New York: Oxford University Press. Mackay, H. 2013. The Good Life, Sydney: Macmillan Publishers Aus. Macklin, R. 2007. The Morally Decent HR Manager, in: Pinnington, A. et al., Human Resource Management – Ethics and Employment, (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mackinnon, B. 2013. Ethics 2nd edn, Boston: Wadsworth. MacIntyre, A. 1999. Social Structure & Their Threats to Moral Agency, Philosophy, vol. 74, no. 3, p. 311-329. Nyholm, S. 2015. Kant’s Universal Law Formula Revisited, Metaphilosophy, 46(2): 280-299. Pasternak, C. (eds.) 2007. What makes us human?, Oxford: Oneworld-Press. Rafeeq H. 2015. Rawls on Meaningful Work and Freedom, Social Theory & Practice, 41(3): 477-504. Rowntree, B. S. 1921. The human factor in business, London: Longmans, Green, &Co. Ryde, L. & Sofianos. L. 2014. Creating Authentic Organizations: Bringing Meaning & Engagement Back to Work, London: Kogan. Schrijvers, J. 2004. The Way of the Rat – A Survival Guide to Office Politics, London: Cyan Books Shaw, WH & Barry, V 2010, Moral issues in business, Wadsworth, Belmont. Velasques, MG 2012, Business ethics – concepts and cases, (7th ed.), Pearson, Boston.


Human Resource Management (HRM) is an integral part of contemporary people management (CPM). The contribution of strategic HRM to organisations, society and humanity is immense. However, effective HRM is challenging due to various reasons, including the ethical considerations of treating employees as means to achieve organisational goals. Immanuel Kant’s Second Formulation: The Formula of Humanity, in his Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, emphasises the importance of treating humanity as an end in itself, rather than merely a means to achieve an end. This essay will examine whether HRM can treat employees as ends-in-themselves and not as means, tools, or resources.

Kant’s Second Categorical Imperative:

Kant’s Second Formulation: The Formula of Humanity asserts that people should be treated as ends-in-themselves, and not merely as a means to an end. The formulation emphasises that people are unique and possess inherent worth, and should not be used as a tool or resource to achieve organisational goals. Kant’s moral philosophy provides a clear line between treating people as an “end-in-themselves” (morally good) and treating people as a “means” (immoral). Respect or disrespect does not alter this fundamentally. Therefore, to be morally good, HRM should treat employees as ends-in-themselves, and not as a means, a tool, or a resource.

Challenges of Treating Employees as Ends-in-Themselves:

Treating employees as ends-in-themselves poses a significant challenge for HRM. One of the challenges is that HRM is responsible for ensuring that the organisation achieves its goals. Therefore, HRM must use employees to achieve these goals. This means that employees are being used as a means to an end, which contradicts Kant’s Second Formulation. The challenge for HRM is to balance the needs of the organisation with the ethical considerations of treating employees as ends-in-themselves.

Another challenge is that treating employees as ends-in-themselves requires HRM to consider the long-term benefits of employees. This means that HRM must invest in employees’ growth and development, which can be costly and time-consuming. It also means that HRM must consider employees’ well-being, such as their work-life balance, and provide a safe and healthy work environment. This can be challenging for HRM as it requires a significant investment of time and resources.

Strategies for Treating Employees as Ends-in-Themselves:

HRM can adopt several strategies to treat employees as ends-in-themselves. Firstly, HRM can promote employee autonomy and empowerment. This means that employees have control over their work and are involved in decision-making processes. This strategy ensures that employees are treated as ends-in-themselves, as they have control over their work and are not merely a means to achieve organisational goals.

Secondly, HRM can invest in employee development and growth. This means that HRM provides employees with training and development opportunities, which enable them to improve their skills and knowledge. This strategy ensures that employees are treated as ends-in-themselves, as HRM invests in their long-term benefits.

Thirdly, HRM can promote work-life balance and employee well-being. This means that HRM provides employees with a safe and healthy work environment, and allows them to balance their work and personal life. This strategy ensures that employees are treated as ends-in-themselves, as HRM considers their well-being and long-term benefits.

In conclusion, treating employees as ends-in-themselves is essential for HRM to be morally good. However, it is challenging for HRM to achieve this, as it requires a balance between the needs of the organisation and the ethical considerations of treating employees as ends-in-th

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