Humans beings are not just a resource to be exploited or a cost to be controlled but persons with a high intrinsic worth which derives from their capacities to choose, love and understand, and corresponding potential capacities for personal fulfillment that radically exceed those of any purely material beings.
A Person’s dignity is not respected when one directly chooses to harm him or her even If this is done as a means to attain some desirable objectives. In a more positive vein, It also follow from the very special status of human beings that It is not enough in order to justify the activities of a firm, that the needs of the firm’s customers are satisfied; a firm’s activities must also be compatible with, and contribute to the full human development of the firm’s employees. But the essential point is that advancing the interests of employees will not be seen purely in instrumental terms (“we treat them well in order to get even more out of them”) but as a worthwhile end in Itself.
Another basic ethical demand is for the firm to discharge in good faith, its obligations under the contracts into which it has entered with each employee. The work relationship has its origin in an agreement between the parties to it and respect for the terms of that agreement in thus a basic ethical requirement. Also explicit and implicit agreement entered into during the currency of the employment relationship often modify the understanding between the parties even If they do not have legal effect
Finally, employees are more than strangers with whom the firm has entered into contractual relationship for the supply of labor. Ideally they should be, and feel that they are, valued members of a human community who are able to Identify with Its objectives when a firm seeks to structure relationship with Its employees in this way. It becomes especially important to observe carefully standards of fairness in dealing with them, as any perceived unfairness quickly erodes community among human beings
The fact that a firm is fundamentally a human community and that employee should be considered as full members of that community and not just third parties, who have entered into contractual relations with it, will have consequences in three main areas.
The fact that a firm is a human community in which employees are members also brings into the picture mutual duties of loyalty between employer and employees.
Firms have important responsibility towards their employees and this responsibility demand that management take specific steps to protect the employees’ interest in the face of powerful demands from customers and Investors.