The moral conditions of work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


The characterization of meaningful work as objective or subjective is subject to considerable disagreement. While broadly agreeing that meaningfulness has both objective and subjective aspects, this chapter seeks to transcend this debate by separating the moral conditions of work from the concept of meaningful work. Workplace ethics are important pathways for experiencing meaningfulness in work and in life. The chapter argues that most of the objective features of meaningful work are related to the moral conditions of work. These include, for example, being treated fairly and with respect, having personal autonomy on the job, and working in safe environments. When the moral conditions of work are present, then work becomes worthy of a human being. By teasing out the moral from the meaningful, the author shows us how advances in humanizing the conditions of work arise out of struggles between employers and workers over who controls the work process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780198788232
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


  • Autonomy
  • Meaning in life
  • Meaningful work
  • Respect
  • Working conditions
  • Workplace ethics


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