The role of leaders in the modern organization has evolved as scholars and practitioners have recognized that a key element to long-term profitability is the creation of high trust and high commitment work systems that treat employees as valued partners (Kim & Wright, 2011; Block, 2013; Beer, 2009; Caldwell & Floyd, 2014). Effective leaders create aligned organizational cultures with systems, processes, practices, and programs reinforcing the organization’s espoused values in achieving its mission (Schein, 2010). Human resource professionals (HRPs) play a critical leadership role in ensuring that human resource management (HRM) cultural elements are properly integrated, communicated effectively to employees, and followed in a manner that builds trust and increases commitment (Lengnick-Hall, 2009; McEvoy, et al., 2005).

The purpose of this paper is to identify the importance of kindness as a moral duty of HRPs in serving their organizations and the employees within them. As HRPs perform their strategic and operational roles in the modern organization, properly understanding the nature of kindness is an important factor in carrying out HRM roles. This paper begins by defining kindness and its specific application to HRPs — equating the definition of kindness as a leadership trait with six elements of kindness and seven kindness-related ethical perspectives. The paper concludes with a summary of its contribution for HRP practitioners and scholars in understanding the nuances of kindness as a morally-and ethically-related HRM leadership virtue.

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