Chapter 7: Organization and work
Though work can take place in any setting, it is in an organization that it thrives. Performing work in a planned and organized way eases economic transformation, progress, efficiency, and creativity. Indeed, scholars have credited organizations and their executives for the development that has taken place in countries that have experienced economic growth. Organizations and work, therefore, have never been separated in business and economic studies. These studies have underscored the interrelationship between organization and work, between work ethic and progress, and between progress and the well-being of individuals and communities. Studies on work and organizations have flourished in the West. In fact, the ethics of work is widely studied and is presented as the primary reason for the phenomenal economic progress that the West has made for at least two centuries. In Islamic tradition, and relative to the early centuries of Judaism and Christianity, work and its ethics have been underscored. Islamic prescriptions set the boundaries for what is considered ethical and unethical and have held work and engaging in economic activities in the highest regard. Thus, at times these prescriptions have profoundly changed how people have viewed work and business. This, however, is often ignored by researchers. This might be attributed to the economic stagnation that countries with Muslim majorities have experienced for centuries, especially after the destruction of Baghdad, the center of the Abbasid Empire, at the hands of Mongols in 1258.
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