سمت یک بررسی دوباره ترتیبات کار: تجزیه و تحلیل از نظریه راولز از عدالت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22120||2004||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7154 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Human Resource Management Review, Volume 14, Issue 4, December 2004, Pages 395–408
Using Rawls' Theory of Justice, this paper critically examines the systemic fairness of work arrangements. The analysis suggests that the simultaneous use of different work arrangements, such as knowledge-based employment and contract work, often seems to conflict with the principles that, according to Rawls, would make them a fair manner of managing people in organizations. Possibly, this could explain the growing social debate and concern about the new modes of employment. This work underscores the need for researchers to develop a systemic and more critical view of the idea of justice in HR literature so that it can confront its critics and acquire greater social legitimisation.
In the early 1970s, institutional economists noted that firms use different work arrangements for managing people. While some people are hired by the firm on a full-time basis (standard arrangements), others, such as consultants, temporary-help workers, on-call workers, and day labourers, are employed in alternative work arrangements (Harrison, 1972 and Piore, 1971). More recently, some HR authors, such as Matusik and Hill (1998), Lepak & Snell, 1998, Lepak & Snell, 1999 and Lepak & Snell, 2002, and Lepak, Takeuchi, and Snell (2003), have argued that the simultaneous use of standard and non-standard employment relationships is not only a common practice, but also an efficient initiative. It is a good way to obtain business results through people. Now, when and why the use of different work arrangements is not only efficient, but also just? Curiously enough, this question hardly appears in the standard HR literature, which rather focuses on efficiency as the basic object of analysis. As Legge (1998) points out, such a literature, following a utilitarian philosophy, assumes that what is efficient for companies is fair and good for both employees and society. It could be objected that the topic of organizational justice is very much en vogue these days. In fact, the need of fair treatment is often mentioned as one of the essential practices to win employees' loyalty (see, for example, Baron & Kreps, 1999). However, such a need seems to be confined to the group of employees in standard work arrangements (Boltanski & Chiapello, 1999). This is the group that usually attracts the attention of this literature. In addition, as Greenwood (2002) points out, they analyse organizational justice in relation to specific practices, such as selection (Gilliland, 1993), performance appraisal (Greenberg, 1991), dismissals (Brockner, Greenberg, & Brockner, 1986), reward (Lee, Law, & Borko, 1999), etc. So far, they have not provided any general framework to assess the justice of the overall work arrangement system. The lack of a general framework to assess this issue is a particularly serious problem in the context of HRM, where non-standard work arrangements are constantly exposed to attacks and criticisms from different sources (Kalleberg, Reskin, & Hudson, 2000). Critics are relatively rare in the management literature (see Alvesson & Willmott, 1992, Legge, 1998 and Steffy & Grimes, 1986, for notable exceptions), but they are very prominent outside the academic domain. Examples are numerous, for instance, the so-called anti-globalization movements, or books such as The Corrosion of Character by Richard Sennett or No Logo (1999) by the Canadian writer Naomi Klein, which have become worldwide best-sellers. These critics usually express their indignation at what they consider some “unjust” work arrangements. They present the new employment modes as sources of oppression and inequalities. The strong impact of many of these works on public opinion shows the extent to which they touch the sensitivities of many people. What arouses this rejection? To what extent is it justified? How can we respond to it? What changes would be necessary for us to confront criticism? In reply to these questions and concerns, any reference to standard organization justice theory ( Adams, 1965 and Folger & Crapanzano, 1998), according to which work arrangements maintain equity between the employee and the organization in terms of what each contributes and receives, seems to be of little help. One way of making up for this lack of theoretical framework is to resort to other academic fields. Among the most widespread theories for analysing the justice of social institutions and systems is the one developed by John Rawls, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Harvard University until his death in 2002. His extensive and complex work “A Theory of Justice” (TJ; 1972) attempted to set up an idea of justice for social institutions and organizations, which is one of today's most influential philosophical views of justice. (Ackerman, 1980, Bidet, 1995, Danields, 1989, Höffe, 1977, Kukathas, 1990 and Wolf, 1990). And yet, as Schiminke, Ambrose and Noel (1997) have noted, references to Rawls' theory in the current management literature are in fact quite rare. One possible reason might be that Rawls focuses on a societal level of justice, and it is not clear how well a single organization can mirror a social system. However, given that his view attempted to reflect many of the aspirations of justice professed by the citizens of democratic societies (Rawls, 1993), it might be particularly helpful if we wish to account for social rejection of some modes of employment. In fact, Rawls himself opened up this possibility: “It is natural to conjecture that once we have a sound theory for this case (the legitimation of the social order), the remaining problems of justice will prove more tractable in the light of it” (Rawls, TJ, p. 8). The aim of this work is to show the applicability of Rawls' theory to the HR management field. More specifically, it tries to assess the extent to which it can provide a valuable instrument to examine the systemic fairness of work arrangements and account for the growing social concern on some modes of employment. This paper will first present Rawls' framework in its own terms, distinguishing it from the organizational justice theories (Adams, 1965). In what follows, recent studies on work arrangements will be reviewed to explore the extent to which they can be exposed to criticisms. The basic conclusion of this work is that the use of different work arrangements, as implemented nowadays in the business world, often seems to conflict with the principles that, according to Rawls, would make them fair. By pointing out this deficiency, our hope is to promote a more critical view of HRM: a view that helps it achieve greater social legitimisation.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Drawing on Rawls' Theory of Justice, a moral evaluation of work arrangements was presented. It can be concluded that the use of different work arrangements, as they are actually implemented in the business world, often seems to conflict with the principles that, according to Rawls, would make them fair. Contrary to the egalitarian principle of basic rights for all groups involved, data suggest that contract work has increased inequalities by creating a class of workers susceptible of discriminatory treatment in terms of basic rights (i.e., those protections that labour law affords). In contrast, knowledge-based employment entitles employees to yet additional rights and benefits (i.e., self-development and self-determination). With respect to Rawls' principle of difference, there is no solid data. Yet, it is not difficult to find examples of companies where the rewards of the least advantaged workers (i.e., contract workers) would certainly increase provided that those of the more advantaged decreased. In both cases we seem to have a scenario of clear winners and clear losers. This scenario is, in our opinion, the key element in most criticisms against the new work arrangements. Critics argue that, within the employee population, core employees seem to benefit greatly whereas those with a human capital that is neither valuable nor unique seem to suffer even more than in the past. They demand a more equitable distribution of outcomes. As Sennett (1998) puts it, “a regime which provides human beings no deep reason to care about one another cannot long preserve its legitimacy”. Furthermore, in this paper criticisms are interpreted against the typical design of employment modes. The advocates of combining different work arrangements (Lepak & Snell, 1999, Lepak & Snell, 2002 and Masters & Miles, 2002) usually mention the reduction of fixed and administrative costs as one of the advantages of sub-contracting low strategic value workers, so that resources can be invested in core employees. To maintain a sense of justice towards contract workers, they should not be given false expectations. They will leave the firm when the contract expires and the firm will have honoured it without taking advantage of these workers (Rousseau, 1995). The problem for critics of work arrangements is that the wish to “give more” to core workers may contribute to reinforce the precariousness of the rest (Boltanski & Chiapello, 1999). This type of distribution, with some possessing less while others prosper, violates Rawls' principles and may well be considered efficient (or advantageous), but not fair—at least, not in Rawls' terms. In fact, one might speculate that, if they were behind a veil of ignorance, as the original Rawslian position requires, neither one (the winner) nor the other (the loser) would arrive at the type of work they actually reach in real life. It should be noted that although we attempted to account for some criticism of work arrangements, we are not claiming that the use of different work arrangements is bound to conflict with Rawls' model of a well-ordered society. As applied to HR, a combined use of work arrangements will be fair in cases where (a) all groups have the same basic labour rights and opportunities, (b) greater rewards correspond to greater merits, and (c) the greater rewards of the more favoured improve those of the less favoured (TJ, p. 78). This is a question of empirical research. Critics tend to look at violations of any of these conditions. Since decisions taken by organizations are frequently at odds with them, they conclude that work arrangements are unfair. However, their evidence could be countered by other company data where the productivity of the favoured group enables the unfavored to be gainfully employed. Such an arrangement would be not only rational (efficient), but also reasonable (just). Nothing prevents companies from being fair in Rawls' terms. This requires–in addition to some help from legislation to protect basic rights–a willingness to implement modes of employment that guarantee organization efficiency and survival, but also moral standards. In their review of HR literature, Ferris, Hochwarter, Buckley, Harrell-Cook and Frink (1999) insist on the need to introduce the idea of justice into HR management. Here, we have provided an instrument to work in this direction. To truly gain social legitimation and confront criticism, further research on the systemic fairness of work arrangements is clearly needed.