Catholic Social Teaching and Workplace Democracy

Dissertation, Union Theological Seminary (1991)
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This dissertation has two objectives: to demonstrate that a central thrust of Catholic social ethics is toward the establishment of workplace democracy defined as "any institutional arrangement whereby suppliers of labor within the firm exercise ultimate authority or control in the essential decisions of the firm," and secondly, to demonstrate that workplace democracy, as defined, constitutes a morally preferable and economically feasible alternative to non-democratic forms of production. Chapters One through Three examine the social teaching of Leo XIII, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Vatican Council II and John Paul II. In Chapter Four, three moral arguments for workplace democracy drawn from official Catholic social teaching are examined: the common good argument which underscores the process of participation; the human rights/realization argument which underscores human subjectivity and finally, an argument based on the patristic and Thomistic doctrine of the universal destiny of all goods understood as productive goods. Chapter Five of the thesis offers argumentation for the feasibility of workplace democracy, examines objections to workplace democracy and concludes to its moral preferability within a democratic economic order



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