Loyalty in Business: Subversive Doctrine or Real Need?

Business Ethics Quarterly 11 (1):11-26 (2001)


Loyalty within the firm, though praised by some, is criticized by others. An analysis of the historical and current significance of theconcept of loyalty can aid in both understanding its critics and responding to them. Loyalty in the business world is generallyunderstood in three ways: i) transactional retention, ii) sentimental attraction, and iii) willingness to commit oneself. In the third type,the commitment to adhere to a person, cause, or institution may contribute to human flourishing and therefore generate the humanvirtue of loyalty. The human virtue of loyalty is as far from fanaticism as it is from the betrayal of legitimate commitments freely undertaken. As with all virtues, its content must be rationally determined. Loyalty thus understood enhances the humanity of both persons and business firms and contributes to heightened cohesion and cooperation within the firm. Moreover, according to some recent research, managing a business on the basis of loyalty can enhance economic results

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,660

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

40 (#287,665)

6 months
1 (#388,784)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Loyalty in the Workplace.Albert Spalding - 2007 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (1):50-59.
The Moral Significance of Employee Loyalty.Brian Schrag - 2001 - Business Ethics Quarterly 11 (1):41-66.
Corporate Loyalty: Its Objects and its Grounds. [REVIEW]R. E. Ewin - 1993 - Journal of Business Ethics 12 (5):387 - 396.
Untangling the Loyalty Debate: A Psychological Contract Perspective on Workplace Loyalty.David W. Hart & Jeffery A. Thompson - 2006 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 17:9-14.
Whistleblowing and Employee Loyalty.Robert A. Larmer - 1992 - Journal of Business Ethics 11 (2):125 - 128.
Examining Loyalty: The Folk & The Philosopher.John D. Baldari - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno
Loyalty in Business?John Corvino - 2002 - Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):179 - 185.
Whistle Blowing and Rational Loyalty.Wim Vandekerckhove & M. S. Ronald Commers - 2004 - Journal of Business Ethics 53 (1-2):225-233.

Author's Profile

References found in this work

The Philosophy of Loyalty.Frank Thilly - 1908 - Philosophical Review 17 (5):541.
Custom.John Ladd - 1967 - In Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. New York: Macmillan. pp. 7--278.

Add more references