David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 81 (1):209 - 221 (2008)
One of the essential ethical issues in the employment relationship is the loss of employee voice. Many of the ways employees have previously exercised voice in the employment relationship have been rendered less effective by (1) the changing nature of work, (2) employer preferences for flexibility that often work to the disadvantage of employees, and (3) changes in public policy and institutional systems that have failed to protect workers. We will begin with a discussion of how work has changed in the last 20 years in countries like Australia and the United States, and then take up the issue of employees as organizational stakeholders and the ethical duties that are owed them, with special attention given to issues of power. We will then consider whether voluntary action by employers such as social auditing is sufficient to ensure equity for employees, and conclude with a discussion of how changes in public policy might ensure greater fairness in the employment relationship by bringing employers and employees together in partnership.
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