The ethical dimension of industrial production has been largely ignored by theorists of production. This article identifies three important features of the mass production process that are brought about by industrialization in the development of the production of goods: utility, compartmentalization, and independent external end-point. We claim that a mechanistic understanding of these features gets in the way of an ethical approach to the topic, causing important consequences in the management of employees and the entire productive process. We analyze attempts to overcome such an understanding by appeal to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This article concludes that this strategy is insufficient and that a comprehensive ethics of mass production only comes into view if we incorporate transitive motivation into the analysis.