Role obligations to alter role obligations

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Many roles are situated within organizations. The occupants of these roles often confront a dilemma between (i) the occupancy conditions, performance conditions, and functions of the role, as bestowed upon the role by the organization’s decision-making procedures, and (ii) the occupancy conditions, performance conditions, and function that the role should ideally have. This chapter argues that this dilemma should be resolved in favour of (ii). Yet this does not require forgoing role-based considerations in favour of extra-role considerations. Instead, we should conceptualize organizationally specified roles as being one token of an underlying role-type. The underlying role-type provides the organizational role-token with its fundamental occupancy conditions, performance conditions, and function. When the token is a poor instance of its type, organizational role-occupants have obligations—grounded in the fundamental aspects of the role—to challenge this. These are role obligations that call upon one to alter one’s role obligations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ethics of Social Roles
EditorsAlex Barber, Sean Cordell
Place of PublicationOxford Uk
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780192843562
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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