Twenty-First Century Employment Relationships: The Case for an Altruistic Model



Different parties in any form of employment relationship (ER) will display variation in terms of their motivations and what they want to accomplish. Insights into how we might meet these potentially competing interests come from the discipline of sociobiology. In particular, this article focuses upon multilevel selection (MLS); the central tenet being that internally altruistic groups are likely to outperform their more selfish counterparts, which many contemporary theoretical biologists agree is a legitimate theory accounting for evolutionary change and success. On the assumption that the interests of all parties are more likely to be realized in the context of overall organizational success, the simple logic of MLS challenges the quid pro quo arrangements central to dominant theoretical perspectives of the ER. Drawing upon the growing evidence in support of MLS theory, and long-accepted insights from social psychology, the case for altruism as a model of the ER fit for the twenty-first century world of work is presented and consideration is given as to how altruistic behaviors can be encouraged in all parties. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.