Welcome to the Work Ethic Site

Working on mosaic in Rhodes

This website provides a central resource for materials related to work ethic, affective work competencies, and employability skills for work force development. It is designed to serve both educators and human resource professionals. Available materials include on-line lessons for use in education and training, two self-scoring work ethic inventories, a history of work ethic, information about available work ethic curriculum materials, and links to other work ethic resources. Materials are protected by copyright but there is no charge to use them.

Rhodes, Greece

These pages include materials developed over two decades of research on characteristics that contribute to success in the workplace. Technical skills are important and competence in one's field of specialization is essential, but having good interpersonal skills, demonstrating initiative, and being dependable often make the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

This website also provides information about the history of work and the role of work in societies going back to the Classical Era of Greece. Most of the work reported here is based on Western cultures but recent projects have included research to examine work ethic in East Asian settings as well.

Curriculum Materials

Work ethic is desired by businesses and industries around the globe, but where does it come from, can it be taught, and if so, how do we teach it? Some would even ask if it should be taught. What if it enables those with power to take advantage of those who have a strong work ethic?

Instructional materials for a 10-day unit of instruction were developed several years ago for those who desire to teach work ethic in school or work training settings. A link is provided to obtain more information about these materials.

In addition to the printed instructional materials for the 10-day unit, there are six on-line lessons for work ethic instruction provided on this website.

Measuring Work Ethic

One of the challenges in work ethic research is the accurate measurement of the affective attributes that comprise work ethic. There are a number of instruments in the literature that can be used. Two instruments are provided on this Web site and both have been used for a number of years. They provide a valid and reliable measure of the constructs that comprise work ethic -- interpersonal skills, initiative, and dependability.

The Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI) and the Employability Skills Assessment (ESA) are provided as on-line inventories that self-score and provide scores for work ethic.

The Historical Context

This material was originally developed as part of chapter 2 in the dissertation of Roger B. Hill. The review of literature was an important part of that research. The document has been distributed widely via previous versions of this Website and continues to be a popular resource.

Use the navigation link for Examining the History of Work to review or download this document.