Aristotle and Relationships at Work

Aristotle’s Side on Civic Relationships

Relationships in human beings and animals are usually brought about by a common factor that sets the platform for two individuals to interact through a common purpose. The most basic and original level of relationships is the family, which binds individuals through the blood. Civic relationships are the opposite of personal relationships. They are brought about by an individual’s shared obligation with others towards the state. Civic friendship is a form of friendship defined by how people relate to other citizens. Aristotle wrote on this kind of relationship from different perspectives because it forms a big part of people’s life, personal relationships, as well as their relationship with the state.


According to Aristotle, we all strive to attain the highest good or happiness. This makes one a good citizen. In trying to explain his point, Aristotle sets out by asking a few fundamental questions. Firstly, he wishes to unravel the drive behind our living and general existence. What is the ultimate goal for all our efforts? Aristotle states that happiness is the drive that sends people to seek all kinds of pleasures. All forms of satisfaction are meant to make us happy. However, in most instances, happiness is in our subconscious mind. Most people think that happiness is that single moment of excitement that makes an individual feel good about what he or she is experiencing or doing, such as getting drunk and watching a comic performance, among others. This view is opposed to Aristotle’s revelations because it does not qualify to give an ultimate feeling. Therefore, happiness can only be derived from virtue, which in turn gives true value to the life of an individual and that of those around him or her

Civic Virtue

Civic virtue can be described as an individual’s positive values that are cultivated and geared towards the common good of society. All human beings take pleasure in good things. However, the standards for good things are largely universal. The need to have virtue arises because human beings seek to achieve ultimate happiness, which, according to Aristotle, can only come from virtue. The philosopher goes ahead to postulate that civic virtues are acquired and that they can be taught to an individual. One must know the civic virtues before the individual can practice them. According to the philosopher, this knowledge comes with a good upbringing. The philosopher explains that virtues are easily inculcated in an individual who has had good nurture because it needs one to appreciate them before he or she can practice them. Civic virtues are important because they enable individuals to appreciate their ties to society.

Civic Justice

According to Aristotle, civic justice is the act of doing what is good, with other people in society in mind. Justice is meant to serve as equilibrium in society so that all people are satisfied and to attain happiness. Individuals observing justice as a virtue obey the law, thus treating others fairly. In his analysis towards justice, Aristotle states that justice should be embedded in law so that executors of justice can carry it responsibly. Lawmakers in society have the responsibility of making law. However, when friendship comes in, the role negates the need for justice because the need for justice diminishes when friendship is deep as the philosopher postulates. Justice, according to Aristotle, is the backbone of social institutions.

Civic Friendship

Civic friendship is the friendship developed between members of one community as they agree what is good for the society in general. Civic friendship that is developed on the platform of virtues drives individual members of the society towards a common good that involves respect for the law and good governance. A civic friendship develops between individuals by pulling them together towards broad consensus on matters touching on public policy and governance as the key aspects that make the society good. When comparing between friendship justice and honor, the philosopher postulates that friendship supersedes the other two virtues because happiness is easily achieved with friendship.

Traits of the Best Places to Work

The best places to work come in different ways, depending on an individual’s take or desires. Given a chance, individuals would create their workplaces to become the best places for them to work. However, this outcome is not possible because all workplaces appear the way they have been set to achieve the various organizations’ objectives. The Great Place to Work is an aspiration for any employee because it gives one satisfaction and the drive to continue working. The best place to work can be measured by the following aspects that an employee might look at as the scorecard.

Best Workplace for Employees


All employees seek to work in places where they trust and where they are trusted. Employees will want to work in places they trust because such places give them a sense of psychological security that would allow them to concentrate on their work without being distracted. Trust for a workplace from an employee is derived from management’s credibility, among other things. The credibility of the owners of the organization gives them a sense of security for their jobs and personal wellbeing. One may not feel comfortable when working in an organization that is involved in illegal activities because this would surely put him or her in a collision course with the law and its consequences. Trusting that one’s job is secure makes an individual appreciate working in a particular organization because there will not be fear of him or her losing positions in the organization. Trusting the person, one works for also makes him or her trust the intentions of his or her bosses.

A Place to Pride In

Employees would want to be pride in where they work by fully identifying with their work place and the work they do. Pride is an essential component that contributes to satisfaction. Naturally, pride comes with something to show off. In this case, an individual’s job or workplace should be one that the individual employee is ready to identify with among his or her peers. Workplaces with a good name are lovely to identify with because one feels counted within the collective effort that has led to that achievement.

Enjoy to Work

Best places to work are places where employees enjoy a good relationship among them. In this case, the workplace gives individuals a home environment as they wallow in the goodwill that comes from colleagues. This enjoyment is only fostered by mutual trust that develops into friendship over a certain period. The family has always been a source of love and happiness. When the workplace provides such an environment, everyone would love to work there. Enjoying doing work is derived from satisfaction with the job the person is doing. In most cases, people work because they do not have an alternative that they think is better than their present jobs. However, when they start enjoying what they are doing, they settle and find the place they work is the best.

To a Manager

Managers too aspire to work in places that they can describe as the best workplaces. They can achieve this dream through a workplace that has certain characteristics as outlined below.

Organizations that Achieve Organization Objectives

Managers desire to work in organizations that are in a position to achieve the set objectives. When objectives are set, all people working in the organization have to come together and work as a team to make sure that the set objectives are achieved. Managers’ work becomes easy when there is a concerted effort from their subordinates to work towards the organization’s objectives because the burden of delivering is placed on them. When this goal is achieved, managers will be satisfied with the outcome.

Where Employees Give their Best

When employees give their best, there will be no reason for anyone to put pressure on them to work hard. The optimum performance gives the manager an easy work. The manager will be in a position to set his or her efforts toward new goals and objectives. All managers wish to work in an environment of trust in that they trust their subordinates who in turn trust them. Fear of sabotage from subordinates is an issue that each manager must have in mind because it might easily take him or her down. Thus, working in an environment where managers can trust their people gives them a family environment. Managers can only create a trusting environment if they develop such a relationship with their subordinates. The subordinates too have to prove to their seniors that they can be trusted with different issues to handle. Trust is not just in terms of accountability of resources. It also comes in terms of delivery of services and objectives in general.

Comparison of the Two Schools of Thought

Upon comparing the two schools of thought, one concludes that both schools of thought try to address the same point. Aristotle based his postulations on civic relationships on the institutions then. He concluded that one had to develop virtues to achieve several factors in civic relationships. Best places to work are characterized by good interpersonal relationships between the individuals working as a team. This outcome can only be achieved through the creation of a friendly environment. Civic friendship, according to the philosopher, is good because it makes a society a better place. Working in any place requires the development of trust from the employee and employer because one might remain unsettled in his or her workplace, thus attracting disillusion. Happiness, according to Aristotle, is the ultimate wellbeing of an individual. Therefore, when one is disillusioned, it takes away the happiness that he or she needs to have.

On the other hand, honesty is a virtue that all people need to have in society to develop trust. No one can attract trust from others if the person is dishonest. Thus, it is important to develop honesty as a civic virtue that will enable individuals to relate well with their workplace environment. Aristotle used the state as the institution for civic duty. However, this paper applies the workplace in the place of the state as the researcher compares the two. Justice is a universal right in any societal setup. It gives everyone satisfaction when it is done. In his writings, Aristotle postulated that justice is an equalizer to all and that it restores people to a level where they feel they have achieved equilibrium in the issue. Justice also happens in the workplace where all workers get a level of satisfaction when they feel that their work environment gives them justice.

Employees at the same level doing the same work in all aspects might feel a sense of injustice when they are paid differently for the same job. An employee would feel disadvantaged under these circumstances. In the end, it will take away his or her happiness. Aristotle’s view of civic relationship was concerning society are, therefore, applicable to the best workplace aspirations of individuals. All values that would make the workplace environment a good place to be can be traced to Aristotle’s views as being their foundation. Happiness as the ultimate goal for human survival can only be achieved when satisfaction has been achieved. When transferred to the workplace, this aspect leads to the achievement of goals and objectives. The workplace has a domino-effect reaction that affects all departments and activities when triggered. A wrong move in one place creates a chain of reactions that can be felt in the results. A right move to causes a reaction that will be felt in the result of the organization.

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Premium Papers. 2022. "Aristotle and Relationships at Work." December 27, 2022.

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