Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Abbas J. Ali
Chapter 15: Islamic work ethics and organizational commitment: a case of Jordanian Islamic banks
Work ethics has been a subject of interest for a long time. The modern concept of work ethics was initially developed by Max Weber who focused on the Protestant work ethic (PWE) (Faught, 2010). Although the concept of the PWE has earlier roots it is commonly associated with Weber’s essay that was originally published in 1904–5. Weber argued that the PWE has shaped the notion that man is dominated by the generation of money and by its acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life (Weber, 2002). Further, hard work is ennobling and valuable for its own sake, labor is a central part of life, as well as self-reliance, and delayed gratification is a virtue (Smith and Smith, 2011). Beliefs concerning work ethics vary across time and countries. While the difference in the attitude toward work ethics is fully documented in the literature, researchers began to focus their attention on the subject with relation to Max Weber’s study of the role of Protestant work ethics in obtaining wealth and the rise of capitalism (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2007). Most research on work ethics and its relationship with organizational commitment has been concerned with Judeo-Christian ethics, especially the Protestant work ethic in Western business settings. Meanwhile, although a few researchers have participated in addressing and highlighting the Islamic work ethic (IWE) in organizational life, their contributions in general on Islamic work ethics are very limited (Ali, 1988, 1992; Rahman et al., 2006; Furnham, 1991).
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