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dc.contributor.advisorCamerer, Marianne
dc.contributor.authorScott, Liesel
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Philosophy. Centre for Applied Ethics.
dc.date.accessioned2012-06-22T11:32:41Z
dc.date.available2012-06-22T11:32:41Z
dc.date.issued2008-03
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21439
dc.descriptionThesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: The central idea developed in this thesis is that meaningful work provides the normative standard of what work should be for all human beings, based on the normative idea that being human entails a realization of one’s potential and the expression of one’s intellect and creativity as a necessary part of living a full and flourishing life. Thus the key ethical foundation upon which my argument was built rests primarily upon classic Aristotelian ethical theory as well as more contemporary adaptations thereof. In reality, however, research reveals that up to eighty percent of people engage in work that is not meaningful in the sense that they are unable to experience both excellence and enjoyment through their work. This problem has been labeled as “employee disengagement” and has been acknowledged by organizations as a disturbingly growing trend particularly because of the financial cost it carries through lost productivity. My objective in this thesis was to outline the scope of the problem, and to make a strong case for the recognition of employee disengagement as a moral problem, and not simply as an economic one. Thus a major focus of this thesis was to unpack the concept of meaningful work and to argue for its moral value. Throughout my thesis, the importance of understanding meaningful work as a balance between both the subjective and objective elements that make work meaningful for the individual was emphasized. Having established employee disengagement as a moral problem, my attention then turned towards analyzing the potential causes of the problem at a systemic, organizational and individual level. My primary conclusion was that the modern paradigm facilitated a certain way of organizing business activity as well as a certain way of construing the relationship between work and life that has ultimately had a deep seated causal effect upon the absence of meaningful work. Thus addressing the problem entails a detachment from this paradigm and challenging some of the basic assumptions about organizational life. Finally, I proposed a business model that serves as a framework for a new way of working which has the capacity to be more fulfilling to the human spirit. This model assumes the tenets of virtue ethics as its core. In this model, individual employees, the organization as a community and leaders in the business all have specific roles and responsibilities to bring the model to life, and thus the quest for meaningful work has to be undertaken as a collaborative effort. The field of business ethics, with a refreshed Aristotelian mindset, has a lot of value to add in offering much needed ethical guidance to help steer this radical, yet exciting workplace transformation process in the right direction.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die kerngedagte van hierdie tesis is dat betekenisvolle arbeid die normatiewe standaard sou skep van wat werk vandonderstel is om vir die mensdom te beteken. Dit berus op die veronderstelling dat menswees meebring dat die individu se volle potensiaal, intelligensie en kreatiwiteit sal lei tot ‘n betekenisvolle bestaan. Die sleutelargument steun primêr die klassieke Aristoteliese etiese teorie asook hendendaagse aanpassings daarvan. Navorsing bewys egter dat tot 80% van die arbeidsmag betrokke is in betekenislose (sinlose) arbeid in die sin dat hulle geen genot of uitnemendheid ervaar nie. Die probleem word geetiketteer as “werknemersonttrekking” en word deur maatskappye beskou as ‘n onstellende tendens ten opsigte van die finansiële impak en die gepaardgaande verlies van produktiwiteit. Die oogmerk van die tesis is om die omvang van die probleem uit te lig en om redes aan te voer dat werknemers onttrekking as ‘n morele vraagstuk aangespreek moet word en nie net gesien sal word as ‘n finansiële dilemma nie. Die beweegrede van die tesis is om die begrip van betekenisvolle arbeid te ondersoek en om die morele aspek daarvan te debatteer. Die belangrikheid van die begrip, betekenisvolle arbeid, as ‘n balans tussen beide die subjektiewe en objektiewe beginsels word deurgaans onderstreep. Aangesien “werknemersonttrekking” as ‘n morele probleem beskou word is die oogmerk om die oorsake van die probleem te analiseer, op ‘n sistematiese, organisatoriese en individuele vlak. Die gevolgtrekking is dan dat die moderne paradigma ‘n sekere invloed het op die organisasie se besigheidsaktiwiteite en is ook ‘n metode om die verhouding tussen werk en bestaan te bepaal, wat uiteindelik ‘n diepgesete redegewende invloed het in die afwesigheid van sinvolle arbeid. ‘n Skeiding van die voorbeeld en die basiese veronderstelling van georganiseerde bestaan word benodig om begenoemde begrip te bevraagteken. Laastens is daar ‘n besigheidsmodel wat dien as ‘n raamwerk vir ‘n nuwe manier van werk, wat sal meebring dat werk meer vervulling aan die menslike gees sal bied. Díe model, veronderstel die beginsel van eerbare etiek as die grondslag. Werknemers van organisasies, die organisasie as ‘n gemeenskap en besigheidsleiers het spesifieke rolle en verantwoordelikhede, om lewe te gee aan die model. Daarvolgens moet die soeke na sinvolle arbied as ‘n kollektiewe poging beskou word. Die gebied van besigheidsetiek , met ‘n vernuwende Aristoteliese denkwyse, het tot voordeel , ‘n waardevolle bydrae tot ‘n onmisbare etiese leiding, om hierdie radikale maar opwindende transformasie in die werkplek mee te bring.af
dc.format.extent86 leaves
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subjectAristotleen_ZA
dc.subjectKant, Immanuel, 1724-1804en_ZA
dc.subjectJohn Paul II, Pope, 1920-2005en_ZA
dc.subjectWork -- Moral and ethical aspectsen_ZA
dc.subjectJob satisfactionen_ZA
dc.subjectQuality of work lifeen_ZA
dc.subjectEmployee motivation
dc.subjectEmployee disengagement
dc.subjectTheses -- Applied ethicsen
dc.subjectDissertations -- Applied ethicsen
dc.titleThe meaning of work : an ethical perspectiveen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA
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