V&R is wedded to the idea that a business is most moral when modelled on the estate of Max Scheler (V&R, Chapter 5).
A good example of the estate, even within vast industries, is the genba — the solidaristic and innovative worker’s ethos of Japan (“Japan’s Famed Manufacturing Model Is Facing a Crisis” [WSJ: Alastair Gale & Sean McLain]). The niche perfume brand Le Labo may once have been an approximation. The founders developed a charming business plan: small-scale and high aesthetics. It proved highly successfully and was sold to Estee Lauder in 2015.
Perhaps it still is an approximation. The founders remain in control of its creative developmental and add that the benefit of selling was to secure excellent logistics (https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/2168577/cult-perfume-brand-le-labo-and-chemistry-personal-and). This relationship is really two hierarchies assisting one another: creative and pragmatic know-how coming together.
To use Scheler to assess the morality of the Le Labo business plan, it would be imperative to know the depth of autonomy the founders retain as well as whether there is any serious cultivation of the staff. Besides a place of work, an estate is a place of education. For this reason, like the genba, the estate is committed to the long term development of members and expects innovation from rank-and-file. It crafts a status for workers rather than reducing them to functionaries.
Nonetheless, as the recent crisis in the genba model of industry in Japan shows — provoked in part by an aloofness of management from the rank-and-file of the genba — an alertness to mixing streams of hierarchy can be a very good thing. The valorization of hierarchy in Scheler’s thinking is found at V&R, Chapter 7.