Working as Equals
- Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
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If we’re equals, then how come you’re my boss? This question lies behind a growing wave of ethical criticism that is directed at hierarchical workplace structures and deploys various ideals of relational (or social) equality. Can workplace hierarchy be justified, and how can this justification be squared with the ideal of relating to each other as equals? The Working as Equals workshop seeks to illuminate the moral dimensions of today’s workplace relations. It also aims to bring into focus the promise and limitations of the relational turn in ethical theory, using the workplace as a lens. Topics of inquiry may include: relational egalitarian criticisms of workplace power and managerial techniques, the limits of the relational egalitarian diagnosis of the contemporary workplace, the connections between relational egalitarianism and other perspectives on workplace ethics (such as republican and contractualist views), the virtues and vices associated with respecting social equality in workplace contexts, developing and applying a relational egalitarian conception of workplace exploitation and privacy, and the moral problems posed by recent workplace developments such as the gig economy, automation, the use of people analytics, and working from home.
We plan to hold the workshop in person at the Saint Mary's campus, but if pandemic conditions remain unsafe, we will plan a virtual version of the event. Registration will open after the workshop program is finalized in December.