- Copyright Page
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction and Overview
- The Moral Conditions of Work
- Dignity and Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Freedom: Self-realization, Autonomy, and Non-domination in Work
- Work, Meaning, and Virtue
- Work and the Meaning of Being
- To Have Lived Well: Well-being and Meaningful Work
- Do We Have to Do Meaningful Work?
- Identity and Meaningful/Meaningless Work
- Self-transcendence and Meaningful Work
- “Belonging” and its Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Exploring work Orientations and Cultural Accounts of Work: Toward a Research Agenda for Examining the Role of Culture in Meaningful Work
- Meaning in Life and in Work
- Meanings and Dirty Work: A Study of Refuse Collectors and Street Cleaners
- Finding Meaning in the Work of Caring
- Exploring Meaningful Work in the Third Sector
- Does My Engagement Matter?: Exploring the Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Meaningful Work in Theory and Practice
- Work Through a Gender Lens: More Work and More Sources of Meaningfulness
- Leadership and Meaningful Work
- Fostering the Human Spirit: A Positive Ethical Framework for Experiencing Meaningfulness at Work
- Direct Participation and Meaningful Work: The Implications of Task Discretion and Organizational Participation
- Accounting for Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Family: How does the Pursuit of Meaningful Work Impact one’s Family?
- Does Corporate Social Responsibility Enhance Meaningful Work?: A Multi-perspective Theoretical Framework
- Cultural, National,and Individual Diversity and their Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Bringing Political Economy Back In: A Comparative Institutionalist Perspective on Meaningful Work
- The Meaningful City: Toward a Theory of Public Meaningfulness, City Institutions, and Civic Work
Abstract and Keywords
The central importance of dignity for meaningful work justifies an obligation to provide meaningful work. This is because people have intrinsic worth as “dignity beyond price” and also because, through meaningful work, people experience themselves as dignified persons. In the Kantian formulation, people have dignity because they have the capacity for autonomy and self-government, and therefore can be held to be responsible. This chapter takes dignity to be based on such universal characteristics, and argues that since meaningful work is a route to dignity then we must pay attention to the ways in which we can ameliorate struggles to experience our dignity in work. The normative characteristics of work designed to promote rational capacities include freedom to choose and to exercise autonomy, and conditions for independence such as sufficient pay. Management practices are highlighted which meet such normative conditions. Examples include open book management, recruitment, training, and participatory practices.
Norman E. Bowie is Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota. He is past president of the Society for Business Ethics and former Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association. In 2009 the Society for Business Ethics honored him with an award for scholarly achievement. His primary research interest is business ethics, where he is best known for his application of Kant’s moral philosophy to ethical issues in business.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.