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Meaningful WorkRethinking Professional Ethics$
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Mike W. Martin

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133257.001.0001

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Integrity and Integration

Integrity and Integration

(p.202) 13 Integrity and Integration
Meaningful Work

Mike W. Martin

Oxford University Press

According to the consensus paradigm, burnout and family life are either irrelevant to understanding professional integrity or pose threats to it. The consensus paradigm limits professional ethics, in terms of which professional integrity is defined, to the duties accepted as a consensus within a profession and incumbent on all its members. Whatever the cause of increasing involvement with professions, integrating work with family and other commitments is now a major moral challenge. The emphasis on personal ideals in professional life may seem to make matters worse by encouraging excessive zeal at work, compounding the dangers of burnout and harm to families. But excessive zeal is just that — a lack of reasonable proportion and balance. Realistic ideals of caring bring resources for avoiding burnout and for integrating professional and other commitments by keeping moral imperatives clear. To see this, we need a pragmatic view of moral reasoning that cautions against rigid hierarchies among personal commitments, while being sensitive to the need for setting priorities in specific contexts where work and family compete.

Keywords:   professional integrity, professional ethics, work, family, personal commitments, moral reasoning, caring, burnout, consensus paradigm, personal ideals

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