Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael K. Duffey

Second Advisor

Richard Roach

Third Advisor

Philip Rossi

Fourth Advisor

Patrick Carey


This dissertation is an interdisciplinary project that examines papal social tradition and organizational theory. Very little has been written on how these two sources of thought compare and contrast with each other. It is the general conclusion of this dissertation that the expertise of organizational disciplines, and the moral and theological vision of papal social thought can together promote workplaces that are both economically viable and morally sound. While many tensions arise between the papal social tradition and the various schools of organizational thought, they can be reconciled. The Introduction of this dissertation provides a descriptive account of work in its subjective and objective aspects, and proceeds to examine four organizational dimensions of work: formation of the worker, remuneration, production process, and product produced. Several understandings of work in organizational theory and papal social thought are explicated and compared in the dissertation by examining how each of them understands these four dimensions. Chapter One examines two major schools of organizational theory, Taylorism and Humanism. While their insights are invaluable for today's organization, their presuppositions pose certain problems in light of the four organizational dimensions of work. Chapter Two examines the roots of the Catholic social tradition found in Leo XIII, Pius XI, and Pius XII. This vision does not replace organizational disciplines but rather provides a moral foundation in which to understand work. Chapter Three furthers this moral examination of work through an analysis of John XXIII's Mater et Magistra. He stays within the papal natural law tradition and updates the social tradition in light of the changing historical circumstances. Chapter Four examines John Paul II's vision of work in Laborem Exercens. Influenced by Gaudium et Spes, John Paul II examines work and its organizational dimensions in light of the creation account in Genesis. Chapter Five examines various concrete work programs such as gainsharing, quality circles, work-teams, and employee stock ownership plans in light of the moral principles and virtues of the papal tradition.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?