The meaning of work to individuals has important influences on their behavior in organizations. They derive their basic values and beliefs about work from society at large, the family, their educational experiences, and many other sources.
The Puritans, who were Calvinists by religious faith, brought what is known as the work ethic to the United States. The work ethic, sometimes called the Protestant Ethic because of its origin in religion, holds that labor is good in itself and good for the person’s soul; the person helps both himself and others by the act of working. This ethic thrived during the country’s industrial growth and the expansion of its frontiers. It flourished under successive waves of immigrants in search of security and the good life. The Great Depression reinforced the work ethic through the security of available work; wars made work a patriotic duty.
Today work has lost much of its religious significance, and labor is seldom regarded as good in itself. Yet the work ethic remains, in a different form. Drudgery and menial work are widely rejected, as are monotonous, routine, and meaningless tasks. Whereas work was formerly the avenue to financial success and higher social status, it is more and more valued today for its intrinsic worth to a problem-burdened society, and for the extent to which it corresponds to newer ideals that transcend material affluence as the measure of success. Work to attain wealth is no longer the motivation it was when the Puritan work ethic was more dominant. Young people today question their parent’s pursuit of money through work. Leisure, and even hedonism, are important values, even though these are made possible mainly by wealth produced by our busi...
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... pollution, urban decay, and poverty. Crimes like bribery, corruption, embezzlement, and theft are dealt with by laws, but the processes of legal action are slow and often uncertain. More difficult are problems, in which the corporation itself must be regulated, controlled, or punished. Standards of proper conduct of business firms are hard to set, but these too are being rapidly codified into regulatory and other laws.
Although some people think that ethics do not exist in present business world and it is impossible for an ethical company, to become profitable too. But it is not true; it is actually a distortion based on the cynical views of those frustrated by the newer attitudes toward work. There are several ethical and yet profitable companies to prove that ethics do exist in business, and rather business and ethics runs hand in hand in the present scenario.
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