Treating Employees Respectfully: The Role of Transparency in Improving the Corporate Behaviour
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AbstractIt is, or ought to be, uncontroversial to assert that corporations have an enormous impact upon the lives of employees. Countless incidents over the last decades have demonstrated that some corporations behave in unacceptable ways towards their employees. This thesis analyses the role of transparency may have in ensuring corporations behave better towards their employees. It presents four main arguments: First, it asserts that companies must take the interests of their employees seriously, by treating them with genuine respect. This assertion is theoretically built upon deontological ethics. The thesis claims that employees should be treated as ends in themselves, rather than as a means in others’ ends. Second, in order to ensure that corporations treat employees with respect, the thesis claims that corporations must be, or be made to be, transparent. Two points are developed in favour of this emphasis. The first focuses on the intrinsic value of transparency. Being open and honest is good in and of itself, and this applies forcefully to corporations in their treatment of their employees. The second point focuses on the strategic value of transparency. It is conceded that there is often a choice of means as to how corporations behave better, however, the thesis argues that transparency is often a better choice, or a better strategy, for delivering good corporate behaviour, compare to the alternatives available. The third argument addresses the best avenues for ensuring companies exhibit a sufficient degree of transparency. It is conceded that companies will often have, purely from self-interest, reasons for being transparent. Nevertheless, this prudent incentive is insufficient. As a result, the work argues some degree of compulsion is necessary to ensure that companies act in a transparent manner. Lastly, the thesis claims that although national/regional initiatives can achieve meaningful improvements in compelling the use of transparency, they may fall short of achieving the level of transparency this thesis advocates. Therefore, it is argued a sufficient degree of transparency can only be achieved through regulatory initiatives on an international level.
OZYUREK, MEHMET (2016) Treating Employees Respectfully: The Role of Transparency in Improving the Corporate Behaviour. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.