The Employee as 'Dish of the Day': The Ethics of the Consuming/Consumed Self in Human Resource Management [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 111 (1):13-24 (2012)
Abstract
This article examines the ethical implications of the growing integration of consumption into the heart of the employment relationship. Human resource management (HRM) practices increasingly draw upon the values and practices of consumption, constructing employees as the 'consumers' of 'cafeteria-style' benefits and development opportunities. However, at the same time employees are expected to market themselves as items to be consumed on a corporate menu. In relation to this simultaneous position of consumer/consumed, the employee is expected to actively engage in the commodification of themselves, performing an appropriate organizational identity as a necessary part of being a successful employee. This article argues that the relationship between HRM and the simultaneously consuming/consumed employee affects the conditions of possibility for ethical relations within organizational life. It is argued that the underlying 'ethos' for the integration of consumption values into HRM practices encourages a self-reflecting, self-absorbed subject, drawing upon a narrow view of individualised autonomy and choice. Referring to Levinas' perspective that the primary ethical relation is that of responsibility and openness to the Other, it is concluded that these HRM practices affect the possibility for ethical being
Keywords Autonomy  Choice  Consumption  Ethics  Human resource management (HRM)  Identity  Performance  Levinas
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1437-9
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,798
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Business Ethics at Work.Elizabeth Vallance - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
Morality, Goodness and Love: A Rhetoric for Resource Management.Craig Millar & Hong-Key Yoon - 2000 - Ethics, Place and Environment 3 (2):155 – 172.
Ethics and HRM Education.Harry J. Van Buren & Michelle Greenwood - 2013 - Journal of Academic Ethics 11 (1):1-15.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-08-17

Total downloads

7 ( #528,655 of 2,177,988 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #166,811 of 2,177,988 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums