The capabilities approach and worker wellbeing

Miles, Lilian ORCID: (2014) The capabilities approach and worker wellbeing. Journal of Development Studies, 50 (8) . pp. 1043-1054. ISSN 0022-0388 (doi:10.1080/00220388.2013.866220)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (389kB) | Preview


Recently, scholars have attempted to apply the capabilities approach, as advanced by Amartya Sen, to the realm of labour. They argue that it provides a philosophical justification for a ‘development’ approach to labour regulation, supports the design of policies that promote workers’ wellbeing and validates the institution of worker participation mechanisms. For labour proponents, this is an exciting prospect. This article argues that despite its promise for expanding workers’ capabilities, certain ambiguities potentially impede the approach’s utility, particularly in developing countries. We suggest ways in which it can be refined and developed to better serve the interests of labour in these contexts, notably by promoting collective and not merely individual capabilities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special issue on Labour. Article published online: 19 Dec 2013
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Diversity and Gender group
Item ID: 14347
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Development Studies on 03/08/2014, available online:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lilian Miles
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 13:45
Last Modified: 05 May 2019 11:27

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year