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Work meaningfulness as a key enhancer of ethical values in business


Gonin, Michael; Swaton, Sophie (2012). Work meaningfulness as a key enhancer of ethical values in business. In: Fifth International Society Of Business, Economics, And Ethics (ISBEE) World Congress, Warsaw, 11 July 2012 - 14 July 2012, 515-528.

Abstract

Despite abundant research on work meaningfulness, the link between work meaningfulness and general ethical attitude at work has not been discussed so far. In this article, we propose a theoretical framework to explain how work meaningfulness contributes to enhanced ethical behavior. We argue that by providing a way for individuals to relate work to one's personal core values and identity, work meaningfulness leads to affective commitment – the involvement of one's cognitive, emotional, and physical resources. This, in turn, leads to engagement and so facilitates the integration of one's personal values in the daily work routines, and so reduces the risk of unethical behavior. On the contrary, anomie, that is, the absence of meaning and consequently of personal involvement, will lead to lower rational commitment rather than affective commitment, and consequently to disengagement and a-morality. We conclude with implications for the management of ethical attitudes.

Abstract

Despite abundant research on work meaningfulness, the link between work meaningfulness and general ethical attitude at work has not been discussed so far. In this article, we propose a theoretical framework to explain how work meaningfulness contributes to enhanced ethical behavior. We argue that by providing a way for individuals to relate work to one's personal core values and identity, work meaningfulness leads to affective commitment – the involvement of one's cognitive, emotional, and physical resources. This, in turn, leads to engagement and so facilitates the integration of one's personal values in the daily work routines, and so reduces the risk of unethical behavior. On the contrary, anomie, that is, the absence of meaning and consequently of personal involvement, will lead to lower rational commitment rather than affective commitment, and consequently to disengagement and a-morality. We conclude with implications for the management of ethical attitudes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:08 University Research Priority Programs > Ethics
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
Uncontrolled Keywords:meaningwork ethics sensemaking Individual Anomie
Language:English
Event End Date:14 July 2012
Deposited On:04 Feb 2013 08:18
Last Modified:06 Apr 2017 06:15
Publisher:International Society Of Business, Economics, And Ethics (ISBEE)
ISBN:978-8389437-50-1
Additional Information:Tradition and new horizons : towards the virtue of responsibility : proceedings of the Fifth International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics (ISBEE) World Congress 2012
Related URLs:http://isbee2012.kozminski.edu.pl/call-for-papers.html

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