Workplace democracy—The recent debate

Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12574 (2019)
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The article reviews the recent debate about workplace democracy. It first presents and critically discusses arguments in favor of democratizing the firm that are based on the analogy with states, meaningful work, the avoidance of unjustified hierarchies, and beneficial effects on political democracy. The second part presents and critically discusses arguments against workplace democracy that are based on considerations of efficiency, the difficulties of a transition towards democratic firms, and liberal commitments such as the rights of employees and owners to work for or invest in nondemocratic firms. The conclusion summarizes the debate and argues that experiments with democratic workplaces as what Erik Olin Wright calls “real utopias” could deliver new insights and thus move the discussion forward.



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Author Profiles

Roberto Frega
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Lisa Maria Herzog
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Democratic Patterns of Interaction as a Norm for the Workplace.Roberto Frega - 2019 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (1):27-53.
Transformative Contextual Realism.Manon Westphal - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):479-497.

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Free Market Fairness.John Tomasi (ed.) - 2012 - Princeton University Press.
On the People’s Terms.Philip Pettit - 2012 - Political Theory 44 (5):697-706.

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