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Moral Capitalism by Stephen Young

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CHAPTER 8 EMPLOYEES: PARTS FOR A MACHINE OR MORAL AGENTS?

Comradeship and trust will emerge naturally when discipline and high standards are enforced.

—Eleventh Business Principle, Tao Zhu Gong, Assistant to the Emperor of Yue, 500 B.C.E.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

—William Shakespeare, King Henry V, act IV, scene III

GIVEN NEARLY TWO HUNDRED YEARS of worker agitation over wages and working conditions, of high-profile political antagonism between labor and capital, employees are the most volatile stakeholder constituency for a corporation. We have been conditioned to think of labor relations in business and in industry as naturally adversarial, rooted in the most objectionable practice of brute capitalism—the sacrifice of worker ...

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