Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):679-684 (2019)

Iñigo González Ricoy
Universitat de Barcelona
Workplace democracy is often advocated on two intertwined views. The first is that the authority relation of employee to firm is akin to that of subject to state, such that reasons favoring democracy in the state may likewise apply to the firm. The second is that, when democratic controls are absent in the workplace, employees are liable to objectionable forms of subordination by their bosses, who may then issue arbitrary directives on matters ranging from pay to the allocation of overtime and to relocation and promotion. Daniel Jacob and Christian Neuhäuser have recently submitted these views to careful criticism. They argue that the parallel between firms and states is unwarranted. For, unlike managerial authority, state authority is final. The state grants firms their legal status and subjects their authority to its regulations, which citizens in democracies already control. And they also argue that suitable workplace regulation alongside meaningful exit options may suffice to prevent, with no need for democratization, objectionable forms of workplace subjection. Neither view offers, they resolve, compelling reasons to believe that justice requires that firms be democratic. I here inspect these criticisms in turn, and offer reasons for skepticism.
Keywords Workplace democracy  Parallel-case argument  Republicanism
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-10024-8
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References found in this work BETA

Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality.Michael Walzer - 1983 - Journal of Business Ethics 4 (1):63-64.
Rule Over None II: Social Equality and the Justification of Democracy.Niko Kolodny - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):287-336.
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Citations of this work BETA

On the Efficiency Objection to Workplace Democracy.Jordan David Thomas Walters - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (3):803-815.

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