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Utilitarianism Method

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Utilitarianism is a theory developed by Jeremy Bentham and improved by John Stuart Mill during the XVIII and XIX Centuries. The theory was conceived due to a general discontent with the British legal system; this is why Bentham wanted to provide an acceptable criterion for the use of punishment in particular. The theory explains that every single human should be treated and evaluated uniformly and determines the morality of an action or decision by weighing the good and bad consequences that comes out of it. The focus of the theory is made in creating as much pleasure as possible and to provide the greatest amount of benefit for all the involved parties. There are two types of utilitarianism that can be applied to Act one and Rule one. The first one applies for specific cases and measures the overall consequences of them; the second one refers to single action and its consequences.

The utilitarian approach consists of 8 steps that in few words consist on the following; first there should be an identified action so that it can be evaluated. It has to be accurate and precise. After this all the involved parties should be identified not only the direct ones, but also the indirect ones as well. When all the parties are already identified the positive and negative consequences for each of them must be identified. After the analysis is done a number from -5 to +5 should be assigned in reference to the pleasures and pains each party will be affected. When that step is done we have to sum up all the assigned numerical figures that would represent the final pleasure or pain that the particular actors will receive. After the sum we will get a final number that could be whether positive or negative. Based on this we will realize if a certain action is moral or immoral rooted on the positivity or negativity of that final number. If the number is positive it should produce more good than bad and it is a moral action; if the numbers result negative it produces more bad than good and is an immoral action. (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2008).

The action to be evaluated under the utilitarian analysis is whether it is moral for companies to outsource such key HR responsibilities as firing, recruiting, and performance review among others.

The stated action directly affects the employees of the company who is outsourcing the HR services and the employer which is the company. The parties that are affected indirectly by the action are the employees' families, the company's customers and the local community.

* Employees. A negative consequence for the employees is that they could feel demoralized by knowing that if someday they have to leave the company for some reason and outsider will let them know of this without going deep into the main reasons of the decision as it should be. They won't be able to refute the decision and it would be much harder having the possibility for reconsideration of the decision. Another negative consequence is that this type of practices may not be incorporated or included in the company's culture so employees could view this as something imposed that go against the company's customs. This will result in a loss of familiarity within the company. The positive consequence is that employees could feel that some decisions that are based on individuals won't be biased due to some of the HR people that are handling specific issues do not have a pre conception from the employees. Another positive consequence is that some existing policies, such as salary and promotions that are based on company's culture could be not current and could differ to market conditions so the outsourced company could put up to date those letting the employees feel that the company is caring more for them. This opposite situation can happen as well. In general terms the negative consequences weigh heavier than the positive ones, resulting in a value of -2 units of pain for the employees.

* The company. A negative consequence for the company is that an outsourced source will be managing an important portion of their HR without having incorporated the culture and essence of the company. This could result in a misinterpretation of some behaviors from the employees or rules from the company that could result in taking wrong decisions. Another negative consequence that is strictly linked to this is that employees will be aware of this and this could demoralize them letting to a lower productivity. A positive consequence is that the company does not have to handle any more an area that is not their strength and they can be concentrated in their key activities.

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