Changing Societal Values and Work Ethics

  • AA Adenugba
Keywords: Work, Work ethics, Society, Culture, Norms


Man, right from the beginning has been engaged in work not only as a means of providing his livelihood, but also as a way of expressing his innate ability. The idea of work can not be separated from the social and cultural context within which it takes place, and as a result of this, socially acceptable values and norms have been attached to work in various societies. Consequently, the concept of work ethics has emerged to define the expected values placed on work. This paper argues that over the years, work ethics has been re-defined as changes occurred in the society right from the classical period to the contemporary society. The paper argues that most importantly, the effect of globalisation, promoted through the spirit of capitalism, has changed the Nigerian notion of what work ethics used to be in the traditional context, and in its place, the newly emerging work ethics places less value on hard work, dignity of labour and honesty. The paper concludes that emerging social structures and institutions greatly account for the changes in people's orientation to work and work ethics.

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