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An Introduction to Business Ethics
Joseph R DesJardins, College of St. Benedict

The Meaning and Value of Work

Multiple Choice Quiz


Which statement is not characteristic of the industrial model of work?
A)Employees receive steady employment, secure wages and benefits, and opportunities to advance within the firm.
B)Jobs are temporary, often part time, often filled by entrepreneurial and freelance workers.
C)Employees receive the benefits of increased productivity created by a stable and competent work force.
D)Work activities are highly structured and routinized.

Which words have never been used to describe work?
C)Degrading and tedious.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.

Select the statement that does not represent one of the common aspects of the contemporary work scene:
A)Workers have significant choices and alternatives open to them in the workplace.
B)More jobs today are temporary, part-time, or subcontracted out to third parties.
C)Most workers will likely have no more than one or two jobs in a lifetime.
D)The social values of work such as camaraderie and social status are lost to part-time and temporary workers.

The classical interpretation of work is best described by:
A)Humans are intellectual, yet work is physical.
B)For cultured and civilized people, work is undignified.
C)Humans are free beings; work is a necessity.
D)Work diminishes human nature and human potential.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.

Which of these statements does not describe the hedonistic interpretation of work?
A)Work is the price we pay to get the necessities of life and other things that make life pleasurable.
B)Happiness is the enjoyment of cultural activities.
C)There is no specific content for human happiness.
D)Individuals are allowed to choose whatever ends they desire.

Which statement about the issues confronting business ethics in its effort to articulate the type of work than can foster the full development of human potential is not true:
A)Not every job contributes to the development of human potential.
B)The proper kind of workplace contributes to human development.
C)Jobs do not have the potential for influencing and shaping individuals.
D)Individuals exercise control over jobs.

A true expression of Marx's concept of alienation is:
A)Alienation is the result of low wages.
B)Alienation is the result of work that prevents the full development of human potential.
C)Alienation means the separation and distinction of one social class from another.
D)The capitalistic system does not inevitably mean a life of alienation for workers.

Select the statement that fails to describe the human potentials that work can fulfill:
A)Work provides the occasion for developing talents and exercising creativity.
B)Through work, humans create their own society and culture and thereby their own identities.
C)Work expresses our nature as social beings.
D)Work allows us to experience our freedom and autonomy in making choices and directing our lives.
E)All of the above.
F)None of the above.

Indicate the statement that is not consistent with Bowie's liberal theory of work:
A)One of the moral obligations of a firm is to provide meaningful work.
B)It is a simple enough task to find a justification for any objective, normative definition of meaningful work.
C)Meaningful work defined as nothing more than what employees say it is, is a subjective and individualistic definition of work.
D)The more people are compelled to work, the greater the responsibility to make sure that workplace conditions are as humane as possible.

How might a liberal have to respond to the suggestion that some workers might prefer to work at highly routinized, unchallenging, and boring jobs?
A)Employers have no choice but to eliminate these jobs.
B)Employers have no obligation to eliminate these jobs.
C)These jobs do not necessarily suppress the human faculties of rational and autonomous choice.
D)While it may be true, on the one hand, that as long as no one is forcing employees to do these jobs, employers don't have to eliminate them, it is also true that accepting the ethical legitimacy of these jobs violates the fundamental values of rational and free choice.