McMahon on Workplace Democracy

Journal of Business Ethics 71 (4):339-345 (2007)
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This paper offers a sympathetic critique of Christopher McMahon’s Authority and Democracy: A General Theory of Government and Management. Although I find fault with some of his arguments, my goal is not to show that these arguments are irreparable, but to highlight issues that deserve further consideration. After defining some terms, first, I raise an objection to McMahon’s rejection of the moral unity of management (MUM) thesis. Second, I draw attention to his “moralization” of the workplace, and examine the role it plays in his arguments about the relative strengths of the different kinds of authority. Third, I raise questions about his reliance on an analogy between states and firms. I suggest that states and firms are in some ways more alike, but in other ways less alike, than he allows.



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Jeffrey Moriarty
Bentley University

References found in this work

Toward an Ethics of Organizations.Joshua D. Margolis - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (4):619-638.
On the Relevance of Political Philosophy to Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2005 - Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (3):455-473.

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