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Work Ethics - Essay Example

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Work has been synonymous with human beings as a way of life for many years, regardless of whether it is paid, unpaid or any other form. Work has evolved over the history of mankind to acquire different meanings especially in modern times. …
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Work Ethics
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Download file to see previous pages For example, before the advent of industrial capitalism, work referred in general to activities directed at satisfying the human need for survival to most people at subsistence level. Over the years, work has changed from being just an economic activity for survival to regular paid employment (Edgell 2006, 1). The unit of production has also changed from the household comprising of only family members working at home to factories with specialized units where individuals earn their salaries and wages as opposed to joint ownership. As a result, the term work nowadays refers to a productive activity involving machines powered by inanimate energy sources where employees get monetary payment agreed in advance. This view of work among most people appears to be inclined to employment with little or no time being left for leisure. Being at work is viewed as being more rewarding (either financially or otherwise) than being out of it. According to Grint (2000, 8) this has resulted in marked division between work and non-work and clear understanding of company time and free time. This paper therefore looks at this conception of work which has actually influenced people’s way of life within and without the work place in modern day life. The work ethic influences on modern day life Rask (2008, 1) defined ethics as a process that involves learning what is right or wrong and doing what is right. For workers to be termed as ethical, they must portray virtues like integrity, responsibility, honesty and respect among others. Proper work ethics have become a major concern among many businesses especially at this time when employee turnover is high resulting to more time and money being spent on new staff recruitment. Employees without requisite skills find themselves out of work and have to be involuntary unemployed. The case is more pronounced especially during business turnarounds. This can be summarized by arguments from Russell (1935, 2) who pointed that for one to spend, one has to give employment and this only goes on to complicate life making it worse. Globalization which is driven by capitalism has resulted in a shift from the traditional non-alienating work in ancient times to alienating work (voluntary work) in modern capitalist society (Edgell, 2006, 183). This could be as a result of complex power relationships and structural constraints which most individuals are unaware and impinge on our daily life (Miles, 2002, 1). As a result, employees are moving across the globe in search of better paying and satisfying jobs. In addition, division of labor and specialization, which is identical with modern workplace means that employees have to voluntarily choose their competence areas and specialize in them. The work restructuring is mainly based on two principles, that is, organizational and occupational principles of work structuring (Watson, 2003, 176). This contrasts the traditional society where individuals worked inclusively in one locality for the good of the whole family with work being clearly defined for all. On the other hand, careers in the modern world are on the decline for various reasons. Flores (2000, 12) pointed that new technologies, the increasing consternation of products and services and the impact of globalization on local knowledge as key reasons for the decline. The modern work ethic has resulted in social divisions in the contemporary society. The world has seen emergence of new social class, redefinition of gender roles, dramatic alterations in the constitution of families and households, growing diversity in cultures. This has resulted in greater diversity and fragmentation among societies compared to traditional society settings. People with financially rewarding jobs and political ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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