For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Virtue and Meaningful Work"

by Beadle, Ron; Knight, Kelvin (2012)


This article deploys Alasdair MacIntyre’s Aristotelian virtue ethics, in which meaningfulness is understood to supervene on human functioning, to bring empirical and ethical accounts of meaningful work into dialogue. Whereas empirical accounts have presented the experience of meaningful work either in terms of agents’ orientation to work or as intrinsic to certain types of work, ethical accounts have largely assumed the latter formulation and subjected it to considerations of distributive justice. This article critiques both the empirical and ethical literatures from the standpoint of MacIntyre’s account of the relationship between the development of virtuous dispositions and participation in work that is productive of goods internal to practices. This reframing suggests new directions for empirical and ethical enquiries.


Meaningful Work, Virtue, Business Ethics, Self-Determination Theory


Meaningful Work

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