Review of Religious Research

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 129–146 | Cite as

Beliefs About Faith and Work: Development and Validation of Honoring God and Prosperity Gospel Scales

  • Mitchell J. NeubertEmail author
  • Kevin D. Dougherty
  • Jerry Z. Park
  • Jenna Griebel
Original Paper


Disputes over the connection between beliefs and behaviors, coupled with the relative paucity of survey measures of specific theological beliefs related to work and its association with financial success, motivated the development of two beliefs scales: beliefs about work as a means to honor God and beliefs about God promising prosperity for believers. Analyses demonstrated these two scales to be distinct from one another and reliable. Using a national sample of over 1,000 working adults, we assessed the relationship of the specific belief scales to Lynn et al.’s (J Bus Ethics 85(2):227–241, 2009) faith at work scale, Mirels and Garrett’s (J Consul Clin Psychol 36(1):40–44, 1971) Protestant Work Ethic scale, two personality scales (Conscientiousness and Neuroticism), entrepreneurial behavior, helping behavior, and religious tradition. Results indicate convergent and divergent validity and demonstrate the potential utility of these beliefs scales for predicting work-related attitudes and practices.


Religious beliefs Scale development Prosperity gospel Work 



This article is based on research supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #0925907. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


  1. Abdel-Khalek, Ahmed M. 2007. Assessment of intrinsic religiosity with a single-item measure in a sample of Arab Muslims. Journal of Muslim Mental Health 2(2): 211–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad, Shukri, and Musa Y. Owoyemi. 2012. The concept of Islamic work ethic: An analysis of some salient points in the prophetic tradition. International Journal of Business and Social Science 3(20): 116–123.Google Scholar
  3. Allport, Gordon W. 1950. The individual and his religion: A psychological interpretation. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Allport, Gordon W., and J. Michael Ross. 1967. Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 5(4): 432–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alquist, Jessica, Sarah E. Ainsworth, and Roy F. Baumeister. 2013. Determined to conform: Disbelief in free will increases conformity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49(1): 80–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ashmos, Donde P., and Dennis Duchon. 2000. Spirituality at work: A conceptualization and measure. Journal of Management Inquiry 9(2): 134–145.Google Scholar
  7. Attanasi, Katherine, and Amos Yong, eds. 2012. Pentecostalism and prosperity: The socio-economics of the global charismatic movement. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  8. Bandura, Albert. 1986. Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Bartlett, Monica Y., Paul Condon, Jourdan Cruz, Jolie Baumann, and David Desteno. 2012. Gratitude: Prompting behaviours that build relationships. Cognition and Emotion 26(1): 2–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Batson, Charles D., and W.L. Ventis. 1982. The religious experience: A social-psychological perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Benjamins, Maureen R. 2012. Religious beliefs, diet, and physical activity among Jewish adolescents. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 51(3): 588–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benson, Peter L., John Dehority, Lynn Garman, Elizabeth Hanson, Martha Hochschwender, Carol Lebold, Roberta Rohr, and Jane Sullivan. 1980. Intrapersonal correlates of nonspontaneous helping behavior. The Journal of Social Psychology 110(1): 87–95.Google Scholar
  13. Carpenter, Thomas P., and Margaret A. Marshall. 2009. An examination of religious priming and intrinsic religious motivation in the moral hypocrisy paradigm. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 48(2): 386–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chaves, Mark. 2010. Rain dances in the dry season: Overcoming the religious congruence fallacy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(1): 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clements, Richard. 1998. Intrinsic religious motivation and attitudes toward death among the elderly. Current Psychology 17(2–3): 237–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cole, Margaret E., and Robert A. Wortham. 2000. The Dudley and Cruise religious maturity scale: A critical evaluation. The Social Science Journal 37(3): 445–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Copeland, Kenneth. 1985. Prosperity: The choice is yours. Fort Worth, TX: KCP Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Dougherty, Kevin D., Byron R. Johnson, and Edward C. Polson. 2007. Recovering the lost: Remeasuring U.S. religious affiliation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46(4): 483–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Driskell, Robyn L., and Larry Lyon. 2011. Assessing the role of religious beliefs on secular and spiritual behaviors. Review of Religious Research 52(4): 386–404.Google Scholar
  20. Dudley, Roger L., and Robert J. Cruise. 1990. Measuring religious maturity: A proposed scale. Review of Religious Research 32(2): 97–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elangovan, A.R., Craig C. Pinder, and McLean Murdith. 2010. Callings and organizational behavior. Journal of Vocational Behavior 76(3): 428–440.Google Scholar
  22. Ellison, Christopher G., and Michael J. McFarland. 2011. Religion and gambling among US adults: Exploring the role of traditions, beliefs, practices, and networks. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50(1): 82–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ellison, Craig W. 1983. Spiritual well-being: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal of Psychology and Theology 11(4): 330–340.Google Scholar
  24. Fetzer Institute. 1999. Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research, 1–95. Bethesda, MD: Fetzer Institute, National Institute of Aging. Retrieved from
  25. Flere, Sergej. 2007. Gender and religious orientation. Social Compass 54(2): 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Froese, Paul, and Christopher Bader. 2010. America’s four gods: What we say about god—and what that says about us. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Fulton, Aubyn S., Richard L. Gorsuch, and Elizabeth A. Maynard. 1999. Religious orientation, antihomosexual sentiment, and fundamentalism among Christians. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 38(1): 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ghorbani, Nima, and P.J. Watson. 2006. Religious orientation types in Iranian Muslims: Differences in alexithymia, emotional intelligence, self-consciousness, and psychological adjustment. Review of Religious Research 47(3): 303–310.Google Scholar
  29. Goldberg, Lewis R., John A. Johnson, Herbert W. Eber, Robert Hogan, Michael C. Ashton, C. Robert Cloninger, and Harrison G. Gough. 2006. The international personality item pool and the future of public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality 40(1): 84–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gorsuch, Richard L., and William R. Miller. 1999. Assessing spirituality. In Integrating spirituality into treatment, ed. W.R. Miller, 47–64. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Harrison, Milmon F. 2005. Righteous riches: The Word of Faith movement in contemporary African American religion. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hathaway, William L., and Kenneth I. Pargament. 1990. Intrinsic religiousness, religious coping, and psychosocial competence: A covariance structure analysis. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 29(4): 423–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Haynes, Stephen N., David C. Richard, and Edward S. Kubany. 1995. Content validity in psychological assessments: A functional approach to concepts and methods. Psychological Assessment 7(3): 238–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Heslin, Peter A., Don Vandewalle, and Gary P. Latham. 2006. Keen to help? Managers’ implicit person theories and their subsequent employee coaching. Personnel Psychology 59(4): 871–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hitlin, Steven. 2008. Moral selves, evil selves: The social psychology of conscience. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hoge, Dean R. 1972. A validated intrinsic religious motivation scale. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 11(4): 369–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hoge, Dean R., and Jackson W. Carroll. 1973. Religiosity and prejudice in northern and southern churches. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 12(2): 181–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hunsberger, Bruce. 1995. Religion and prejudice: The role of religious fundamentalism, quest, and right‐wing authoritarianism. Journal of Social Issues 51(2): 113–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hunt, Stephen. 2000. ‘Winning ways’: Globalisation and the impact of the health and wealth gospel. Journal of Contemporary Religion 15(3): 331–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King, Michael, P. Speck, and A. Thomas. 2001. The royal free interview for spiritual and religious beliefs: Development and validation of a self-report version. Psychological Medicine 31(6): 1015–1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kinjerski, Val, and Berna J. Skrypnek. 2006. Measuring the intangible: Development of the spirit at work scale. In Best paper proceedings of the sixty-fifth annual meeting of the academy of management (CD), ed. M. Weaver.Google Scholar
  42. Kirkpatrick, Lee A. 1993. Fundamentalism, Christian orthodoxy, and intrinsic religious orientation as predictors of discriminatory attitudes. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 32(3): 256–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Koch, Bradley A. 2009. The prosperity gospel and economic prosperity: Race, class, giving, and voting. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.Google Scholar
  44. Kohut, Andrew, John C. Green, Scott Keeter, and Robert C. Toth. 2000. The diminishing divide: Religion’s changing role in American politics. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  45. Lichterman, Paul. 2008. Religion and the construction of civic identity. American Sociological Review 73(1): 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lynn, Monty L., Michael J. Naughton, and Steve VanderVeen. 2009. Faith at work scale (fws): Justification, development, and validation of a measure of Judaeo-Christian religion in the workplace. Journal of Business Ethics 85(2): 227–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lynn, Monty L., Michael J. Naughton, and Steve VanderVeen. 2011. Connecting religion and work: Patterns and influences of work-faith integration. Human Relations 64(5): 675–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marti, Gerardo. 2012. The adaptability of Pentecostalism: the fit between Pentecostal theology and globalized individualization in a Los Angeles church. Pneuma 34(1): 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McCline, Richard L., Subodh Bhat, and Pam Baj. 2000. Opportunity recognition: An exploratory investigation of a component of the entrepreneurial process in the context of the health care industry. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 25(2): 81–94.Google Scholar
  50. McFarland, Sam. 1989. Religious orientations and the targets of discrimination. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 28(3): 324–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McFarland, Sam G., and James C. Warren. 1992. Religious orientations and selective exposure among fundamentalist Christians. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 31(2): 163–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McGrath, Alister E. 1999. Calvin and the Christian calling. First Things 94: 31–35.Google Scholar
  53. Miller, David W., and Timothy Ewest. 2011. The present state of workplace spirituality: A literature review considering context, theory, and measurement/assessment. Academy of management annual meeting, San Antonio, Texas, USA.Google Scholar
  54. Mirels, Herbert L., and James B. Garrett. 1971. The Protestant ethic as a personality variable. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 36(1): 40–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Neitz, Mary J. 2004. Gender and culture: Challenges to the sociology of religion. Sociology of Religion 65(4): 391–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Neubert, Mitchell J., K. Michele Kacmar, Dawn S. Carlson, Lawrence B. Chonko, and James A. Roberts. 2008. Regulatory focus as a mediator of the influence of initiating structure and servant leadership on employee behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology 93(6): 1220–1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Neyrinck, Bart, Willy Lens, Maarten Vansteenkiste, and Bart Soenens. 2010. Updating Allport’s and Batson’s framework of religious orientations: A reevaluation from the perspective of self‐determination theory and Wulff’s social cognitive model. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(3): 425–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Palmer, Craig T., and Lyle B. Steadman. 2004. With or without belief: A new approach to the definition and explanation of religion. Evolution and Cognition 10(1): 138–147.Google Scholar
  59. Pearce II, John A., Tracy Robertson Kramer, and D. Keith Robbins. 1997. Effects of managers’ entrepreneurial behavior on subordinates. Journal of Business Venturing 12(2): 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. 2007. Spirit and power: A 10-country survey of Pentecostals. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  61. Podsakoff, Philip M., Scott B. MacKenzie, Jeong-Yeon Lee, and Nathan P. Podsakoff. 2003. Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology 88(5): 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Poulton, Richie G., and Sik Hung Ng. 1988. Relationships between Protestant work ethic and work effort in a field setting. Applied Psychology: An International Review 37(3): 227–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Roof, Wade C., and William McKinney. 1987. American mainline religion: Its changing shape and future. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Rosso, Brent D., Kathryn H. Dekas, and Amy Wrzesniewski. 2010. On the meaning of work: A theoretical integration and review. Research in Organizational Behavior 30: 91–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ryckman, Richard M., Bill Thornton, Bart Van Den Borne, and Joel A. Gold. 2004. Intrinsic‐extrinsic religiosity and university students’ willingness to donate organs posthumously. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 34(1): 196–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Schludermann, Eduard H., Shirin M. Schludermann, Doug Needham, and Morgan Mulenga. 2001. Fear of rejection versus religious commitment as predictors of adjustment among Reformed and Evangelical college students in Canada. Journal of Beliefs and Values 22(2): 209–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schriesheim, Chester A., and Timothy R. Hinkin. 1990. Influence tactics used by subordinates: A theoretical and empirical analysis and refinement of the Kipnis, Schmidt, and Wilkinson subscales. Journal of Applied Psychology 75: 246–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Shane, Scott, and Sankaran Venkataraman. 2000. The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review 25(1): 217–226.Google Scholar
  69. Simpson, Brent, and Robb Willer. 2008. Altruism and indirect reciprocity: The interaction of person and situation in prosocial behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly 71: 37–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Smidt, Corwin E., Lyman A. Kellstedt, John C. Green, and James L. Guth. 1999. The spirit-filled movements in contemporary America: A survey perspective. In Pentecostal currents in American Protestantism, ed. E.L. Blumhofer, R.P. Spittler, and G.A. Wacker, 111–130. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  71. Smith, Christian. 2003. Moral, believing animals: Human personhood and culture. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Smrt, Diana L., and Steven J. Karau. 2011. Protestant work ethic moderates social loafing. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 15(3): 267–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sorenson, Randall. 1981. Evangelical seminarian’s philosophies of human nature and theological beliefs. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 20(1): 33–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Steensland, Brian, Jerry Z. Park, Mark D. Regnerus, Lynn D. Robinson, W.Bradford Wilcox, and Robert D. Woodberry. 2000. The measure of American religion: Toward improving the state of the art. Social Forces 79(1): 291–318.Google Scholar
  75. Swidler, Ann. 2000. Talk of love. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  76. Tracey, Paul. 2012. Religion and organization: A critical review of current trends and future directions. The Academy of Management Annals 6(1): 87–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Trevino, Linda K. 1986. Ethical decision making in organizations: A person-situation interactionist model. The Academy of Management Review 11(3): 601–617.Google Scholar
  78. Vaisey, Stephen. 2009. Motivation and justification: A dual process model of culture in action. American Journal of Sociology 114(6): 1675–1715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Van Dyne, Linn, and Jeffrey LePine. 1998. Helping and voice extra-role behaviors: Evidence of construct and predictive validity. Academy of Management Journal 41(1): 108–119.Google Scholar
  80. Walker, Alan. 2013. The relationship between the integration of faith and work with life and job outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics 112(3): 453–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wang, Yuting, and Fenggang Yang. 2011. Muslim attitudes toward business in the emerging market economy of China. Social Compass 58(4): 554–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Weaver, Gary R., and Bradley R. Agle. 2002. Religiosity and ethical behavior in organizations: A symbolic interactionist perspective. Academy of Management Review 27(1): 77–97.Google Scholar
  83. Weber, Max. [1904–1905] 1992. The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (trans: Parsons, T.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  84. Williamson, Ian T., and Steven J. Sandage. 2009. Longitudinal analyses of religious and spiritual development among seminary students. Mental Health, Religion and Culture 12(8): 787–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Yeo, Gillian B., and Andrew Neal. 2006. An Examination of the dynamic relationship between self-efficacy and performance across levels of analysis and levels of specificity. Journal of Applied Psychology 91(5): 1088–1101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Yong, Amos. 2012. A typology of prosperity theology: A religious economy of global renewal or a renewal economy? In Pentecostalism and prosperity: The socio-economics of the global charismatic movement, ed. Katherine Attanasi, and Amos Yong, 15–33. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  87. Ysseldyk, Renate, Kimberly Matheson, and Hymie Anisman. 2011. Coping with identity threat: The role of religious orientation and implications for emotions and action intentions. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 3(2): 132–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Religious Research Association, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitchell J. Neubert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin D. Dougherty
    • 2
  • Jerry Z. Park
    • 2
  • Jenna Griebel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ManagementBaylor UniversityWacoUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Personalised recommendations