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Negative and positive loyalty
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3670-3114
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4760-160x
2018 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One way to conceptualize the complexity of working life is to see it through the lens of loyalty. When a person works several loyalties are active – the legal duty of loyalty to the employer; loyalty to colleagues, loyalty to the profession, et cetera.

It is common to make distinctions between different forms of loyalties – it is for example different to be loyal to your friend compared to being loyal to your country. In our own research we have focused on the differences between vertical and horizontal loyalties. But to the best of our knowledge one important distinction is quite absent from previous research about loyalty: The distinction is between negative and positive loyalty. This conceptual pair is inspired by Isaiah Berlins classical discussion about freedom . Berlin theorizes two different forms of freedom – negative freedom (freedom from coercion) and positive freedom (freedom as autonomy and personal development).

George P. Fletcher has in his classical study on loyalty come close to our distinction. He uses the concept of “minimum loyalty” (what we call negative loyalty) and “maximum loyalty” (positive loyalty). The problem with Fletcher´s terminology is that it connotes a quantitative difference when the difference in reality is qualitative. Some loyalties can be characterized as an absence of disloyalty (when a person obeys the legal duty of loyalty) – we call this form negative loyalty. And some loyalties are filled with the presence of emotions, commitment and so on – this is positive loyalty.

The present study is theoretically oriented, and methodologically we have been inspired by Richard Swedberg’s notion of theorizing and his ideas about its central role in social science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69724OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69724DiVA, id: diva2:1257096
Conference
Utmaningar och möjligheter i det komplexa arbetslivet, Malmö 18-19 oktober 2018
Available from: 2018-10-18 Created: 2018-10-18 Last updated: 2019-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Other links

https://blogg.mah.se/nyttfranks/files/2018/10/PrgCTA-konferens_18-19-oktober-2018.pdf

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Arvidson, MarkusAxelsson, Jonas

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