Trust and Managerial Responsibility

Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (2):249-272 (1998)
Abstract
This paper explores the moral responsibility a manager has toward a worker. The primary focus is upon those relationships whereworkers have been led to trust their managers. I argue that in such circumstances, models of the employment relationship based on rational self-interest fail to adequately describe the behavior of the actors. Rather, I show through case studies how trust operates in these environments to supercede pure, self-interested behavior. I then explore the moral implications of this finding relative to those managers who lead their workers to trust them. I make the claim that these managers cannot adequately discharge their moral obligations unless they take on positive moral obligations. I cast this responsibility as one of positive care for some portion of worker welfare and briefly discuss what this might mean in practice
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