Free Speech in the Workplace

Rob Macklin, Earl Spurgin

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    Abstract

    Freedom of speech is an important right in liberal democratic societies. It is also a concept that can cause significant academic and public debate. Very little work has been done, however, on free speech in arenas such as the workplace. This paper reports on a project that is examining the status of free speech at work through a qualitative study of employees in Australian organizations. It reveals that, according to the interviewees, while the existence of a right to free speech is well recognized, people have difficulty actually exercising this right. In theory, people may have rights to free speech in the workplace, but, in practice, these rights are not respected. This paper provides a description and philosophical analysis of some of these qualitative findings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-113
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics
    Volume9
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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    Macklin, R., & Spurgin, E. (2007). Free Speech in the Workplace. Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, 9(1), 101-113.