Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A quantitative and qualitative analysis identifying antecedents of work ethic beliefs and the relationship between work ethic beliefs and in-role and extra-role work behavior: New work ethic dimensions and scale introduced
by Mann, Melissa Janine, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2010, 287; 3433447
Abstract (Summary)

This study developed a comprehensive instrument for assessing contemporary work ethic and used the instrument to investigate antecedents of the formation of work ethic beliefs. In addition, the study investigated whether work ethic beliefs correlated with in-role and extra-role job performance. The study reviewed the literature on work ethic beginning with Weber's (1904-05) construal of the Protestant Work Ethic as the underpinning of early capitalism. The review traced the evolution of the Protestant Work Ethic construct to its contemporary, secular formulations. At issue is whether the dimensions of work ethic identified by Weber 100 years ago remain relevant for understanding behaviors of workers in today's post-industrial workplaces. Theoretical hypotheses and exploratory research questions were tested with a multi-phased series of qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Most contemporary work ethic measurement instruments were developed based on Weber's theoretical model, but such instruments might not reflect beliefs and expectations of the contemporary workforce; therefore, the current research conducted semi-structured interviews with a variety of managers, professionals, and workers to identify potentially important aspects of work ethic that had not been incorporated into existing instruments. Based on the interviews, Likert-type scales were developed and validated. Factor analysis of scale responses identified six additional dimensions of work ethic not found in earlier work ethic scales. The six scales were included with existing work ethic scales including the Multivariate Work Ethic Profile of Miller, Woehr, and Hudspeth (2002), and the Positive and Negative Work Ethic Scale of Blood (1969). The scales were used to collect data from a variety of workers on their work ethic. In addition, data were collected on workers' in-role and extra-role work behaviors (both self-rated and supervisors-rated), personality characteristics, perceptions of their work environments, demographic information, personal work history information, and critical adult economic trauma experiences that are partially responsible for shaping respondents' work ethic beliefs.

Correlations and regression analysis found significant relationships between work ethic values and various in-role and extra-role work behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that the newly-identified work ethic scales explained additional variance in work behavior above that explained by existing measures. In addition, significant relationships were found between dimensions of work ethic beliefs and significant early adolescent experiences and adult life economic experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taber, Thomas
Commitee: Marler, Janet, Roch, Sylvia
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Organizational Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Business administration, Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Conscientiousness, Need for achievement, Scale development, Work ethic, Work performance, Work values
Publication Number: 3433447
ISBN: 9781124389868
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