Deconstructing the ‘Aporias’ of Employee Codes of Conduct: The Zimbabwean Experience.
Employee codes of conduct have remained one of the most favoured templates for governing employee discipline and sustaining an ethical organizational culture in most contemporary establishments. However the numerous challenges and contradictions that confront both the construction and administration of the instrument have recently attracted a heightened interest from both scholars and industrial relations practitioners. Based on the findings from five selected Zimbabwean public sector firms, this paper mounts a critique of codes of conduct through the foil of postmodern deconstructionism and advances that there are aporias; that is, tensions and irresolvable contradictions between the logic and rhetoric of codes of conduct and their practice. The paper further argues that the codes are in a predicament rendering them to be at best only partially accurate and at worst misleading descriptions of the real organizational culture. The aporetic nature of codes of conduct as experienced by the variability and contradictions in their application creates possibilities of uncertainty and limitations in the management of employee discipline.
Keywords: aporia, code, deconstruction, discipline, ethics, postmodern
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