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Protestant Work Ethic

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Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics


The protestant work ethic was defined and explained by Max Weber (1864–1920), a German sociologist. In Weber’s early writings, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (PESC), he characterized the protestant work ethic as an inner sense that you ought to work in a particular profession for its own sake, not just for financial remuneration. In PESC, Weber sought to explain the emergence of capitalism as a result of specific moral and religious beliefs that emerged after the protestant reformation. His aim was to explain how changes in cultural beliefs led to changes in individual behavior, which eventually brought about social and political change at the level of the structural organization of society. In order to support his argument, Weber reviewed protestant doctrines, such as the works of Martin Luther (1483–1546). Luther was a German monk who disagreed with church authority, and in his 95 Theses, he declared an end to monasticism and other regulations that the...

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Correspondence to Ariane Hanemaayer .

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Hanemaayer, A. (2017). Protestant Work Ethic. In: Poff, D., Michalos, A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer, Cham.

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