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Moral Authorship: moral learning power.

Dutch society expects organisations/companies in the Netherlands to be socially responsible and contribute to improving Dutch society. This expectation necessitates that the people-professionals are aware of the moral implications of their work.

The work they realise and the role model they are during their work are essential.

For most professionals, the beginning of each career is a period in which significant changes in their identity occur. The influences of the organisation in which they work affect the often fragile identity of a novice professional.

People-professionals experience the ever-changing society to be an increase of intensity and responsibility in their work, which is increasingly influenced by events elsewhere in the world. They are frequently faced with clients, managers, civil society organisations, supervisors, politics, and not to mention the occupational group of their profession. All of these stakeholders in their field of employment in one way or another rely on the people-professional. This intensification of work requires professionals to consciously and professionally reflect on the many choices they make daily.

In vocational training, the student professionals have often focused on reflections and feedback on improving the primary skills of their profession. However, it is essential for resilient, successful work performance that retrospection also considers the ability to choose how you want to do your job well.
The concept of moral authorship focuses on developing the ethical awareness and capacities of the people-professional, with the premise that you can widen the process of moral considerations and choices more vigorously and use moral power for resilient, successful work performance.

We consider moral authorship to be the moral learning power of the people-professional,

with which he or she can show and speak out the responsibility for their professional performance and proactively accomplish accountability to the stakeholders.

Moral Authorship is the process of continuously pondering three questions:

  • How do I know?

  • Who am I? and

  • What kind of relationships do I want?


To Moral Authorship, three elements are essential:

  • acquire control over thoughts and reactions

  • developing a personal life vision

  • live your life authentically

Moral authorship as moral (learning) power allows the people-professional to understand their considerations and professional performance better and commit themselves to authentic relationships, both private and at work.

Moral authorship is based on narrative power.

In the stories that people-professionals tell or share with others, they practice moral authorship.

Moral authorship is a grindstone for the mind.


Told stories are the practice area in which the people-professionals try to understand themselves and get hold of work, life and underlying moral choices.

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