You are an HR professional in an organization with 1,200 employee and seven sites. The company you work for is involved in engineering. It performs construction design and also engages in research and development of engineering and construction materials. As the HR director, you report directly to the company’s CEO. The company’s founder is a scientist and though present at one of the sites, he is no longer involved in the running of the organization. There is a six-member board of directors.
The CEO is one of those very quiet and secretive types of people who wants to control as much of the organization as possible by not allowing open communication and transparency. He is not doing anything wrong that you can put your finger on; he just does not want to share information about how employment-related decisions are made within the organization. This is an issue because as an HR professional, you follow the SHRM Code of Ethics. Among other guidelines, the SHRM Code of Ethics advises us to “ensure only appropriate information is used in decisions affecting the employment relationship.” This places you in a challenging situation since the last employee engagement survey’s biggest issue was lack of transparent communication. You have talked to the COO in an attempt to garner support for a more open communication style within the company, but the COO is an avoider and does not want to challenge the CEO. He runs from issues and says you need to “just go along to get along, and not worry about this sort of thing because we all know employees just love to whine.”
A promotion opportunity has come up in the organization as a function of a senior scientist’s retirement. The intent is to have this be an internal promotion. The CEO has told you he has someone in mind for this position. It is past organizational policy (both in practice and in the employee manual) to offer an open and competitive position to all qualified employees in all seven locations. The CEO’s intent is to select someone and promote them with no open competition (no announcement and no interviews).
Prepare a 2–3-page plan that states your recommended course of action. Along with your recommendation, include the following:
An analysis of the ethical challenges presented by the situation.
A description of your recommended course of action within the context of the SHRM Code of Ethics.
A brief explanation of the role you will take to influence the eventual outcome. Consider aspects of leadership, negotiation, and consultation.
A discussionof the two SHRM behavioral competencies you think are most directly applicable to a successful resolution of this challenge, and why.