Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 927–944 | Cite as

Workplace Democracy, Market Competition and Republican Self-Respect

  • Daniel JacobEmail author
  • Christian Neuhäuser


Is it a requirement of justice to democratize private companies? This question has received renewed attention in the wake of the financial crisis, as part of a larger debate about the role of companies in society. In this article, we discuss three principled arguments for workplace democracy and show that these arguments fail to establish that all workplaces ought to be democratized. We do, however, argue that republican-minded workers must have a fair opportunity to work in a democratic company. Under current conditions, this means that a liberal order must actively promote workplace democracy.


Workplace democracy Republican self-respect Meaningful work 



We wish to thank the editors of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, as well as the two anonymous reviewers, for their helpful and constructive feedback.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

Daniel Jacob declares that he has no conflict of interest. Christian Neuhäuser, too, declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik / German Institute for International and Security AffairsBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Technische Universität DortmundDortmundGermany

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