Business Ethics and CSR

Ethics at the workplace in the fourth industrial revolution

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While many studies on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) focus on efficiency, productivity and economic progress, only a few have considered its ethical aspects. This article tries to contribute to filling this vacuum by providing a comprehensive approach to ethical risks at the workplace. Drawing upon Catholic social teaching (CST)—addressed to all people of good will—it analyzes ethical aspects at the workplace posited by the FIR, and more particularly by Industry 4.0, which is at the core of this revolution. CST emphasizes the dignity of the worker and the necessity to flourish at the workplace. While robots, artificial intelligence, and interconnected technologies are only instrumental, the real subject of work is the worker. This casts specific light on the ethical issues analyzed, including effects on employment, wages and inequality, human quality treatment, relational aspects, safety and health, surveillance on employees, and meaningful work.
Bibliographic citation: MELÉ, D. (2021). Ethics at the workplace in the fourth industrial revolution. A Catholic social teaching perspective. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, 30 (4), 72 -783. doi:10.1111/beer.12368.

Reference: 10.1111/beer.12368 (DOI)
Date: 01/10/2021
Author(s): Domènec Melé
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
Department: Business Ethics
Languages: English