Business before pleasure? Bringing pleasure back into workplace relationships

Christine Moser, Dirk Deichmann, Mariel Jurriens

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In many different ways, organizational scholars have engaged with the pleasures of work. Play, passion, commitment, enjoyment, and meaningfulness are only a few examples of how work can be beneficial for people. In this chapter, we will review these different strands of literature to provide an overview of topics that have been associated with the pleasures of work. We then move on to claim that these different literatures have largely neglected the very essence of pleasure; that is, pleasure as an end in itself. Having neglected our human need for pleasure, we suggest, leads to an impoverished and incomplete understanding of work—primarily focused on rationality, effectiveness, and efficiency—that all but helped achieve other ends. Instead, and grounding our argumentation in the tradition of ethical hedonism, we believe that organizations should commit to pleasure in the workplace and, most importantly, decouple pleasure from outcomes thereof. We conclude with an actionable plan for interventions that will help employees, teams, and managers bring pleasure back into work and allow them to seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding workplace relationships
Subtitle of host publicationAn Examination of the Antecedents and Outcomes
Editors Alexandra Gerbasi, Cécile Emery, Andrew Parker
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783031166402
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023. All rights reserved.


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