Monday, March 26, 2012
Marc P. Weniger completes dissertation in the School of Human and Organizational Development
Work Values and Economic Growth -- Marc P. Weniger
This dissertation investigated the relationship between work values and economic growth. Do work values change with economic growth? Specifically, do the World Values Survey items for work have a relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and gross national income (GNI) per capita? Second, do work values predict economic growth? Work values items were chosen from the World Values Surveys from the past four waves available, the 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 waves. Work values were categorized into three groups, work authority, work ethic, and work priorities.
These questions were answered in three questions sets. First, Question Set A, Questions 1-4, test for differences in the 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 World Values Survey waves between work ethic, work and authority, and work priorities when compared by World Bank income categories of low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high levels. Second, Question Set B, Questions 5-7, test whether there are differences between the 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 World Values Survey waves. Third, Question Set C, Questions 8-11, ask if work ethics, work and authority, and work priorities serve as substantively significant predictors of GNI per capita and GDP per capita in the 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 World Values Survey waves.
The findings indicated substantively significant results for Question Set A were found between World Bank income categories for work ethics, and work priorities for all waves, however not for work authority in all waves. These results indicated that for work ethic, wealthier work grows as countries’ priorities change from having higher motivation to work in poorer economies, to having lower motivation to work in wealthier economies. Work priorities shifted from working for material security/necessity in poorer economies to working for intrinsic needs in wealthier countries. The second finding indicated that work ethic and work priorities are substantive contributors of GNI per capita and GDP per capita.
This study supported aspects of modernization theory, cultural determinism (primacy), and that culture, specifically work values, do have a substantively significant effect on GNI per capita and GDP per capita. The ideas of achievement motivation theory and that cultural values only change generationally were challenged.