What is Work Ethic, and its Purpose

What is Work Ethic, and its Purpose

In its simplest definition, a system of moral principles is called ethics. They affect how people lead their lives, for life is an unbroken stream of decision-making and ethics are concerned with what is the right moral choice, for individuals and for society. This is also known as a moral philosophy. The etymology of ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, meaning habit, custom, disposition or character.

Ethics are therefore concerned with these sorts of moral decision: how to live an ethical life, rights and responsibilities, right and wrong language, what is good and bad and so on. Contemporary notions of ethics have been handed on from philosophy, religions, and global cultures. Ethics are debated in topics such as human rights, right to life, and professional behavior.

In a business, an ethical code is a defined set of principles which guide an organization in its activities and decisions and the firm’s philosophy may affect its productivity, reputation, and bottom line.

Among staff ethical behavior ensures work is completed with integrity and honesty and staff that are ethical adhere to policies and rules while working to meet the aims of the enterprise. An ethically positive, healthy work culture enhances morale among employees.

Traditionally, work ethic has been understood as a value based on hard work and diligence. Capitalists, for example, believe in the necessity of working hard and in consequential ability of enhancing one’s character. Socialists suggest that a concept of “hard work” is deluding the working class into being loyal workers of the elite; and working hard, in itself, is not necessarily an honorable thing, but simply a way to create greater wealth for those at the summit of the economic pyramid.

These values have been challenged and characterized as submissive to social convention and authority, and not meaningful in and of itself, but only if a positive result accrues. An alternative perception suggests that the work ethic is now subverted in a broader, and readily marketed-to society. This perspective has given us the phrase “work smart”.

TVIn recent times, many say that a work ethic is now obsolete and that it is no true any longer that working more means producing more, or even that more production leads to a better life… this is, of course, not to be confused with quality productivity


Those with a strong work ethic have inculcated principles that guide them in their work behavior. This leads them to consistent higher productivity, without any prodding that many require to stay on track. Therefore, whether staff are naturally this way or need be trained, if possible, into such an attitude is determined by the managers.

Productive Work

Individuals with a good work ethic are usually very productive people who work at a faster pace. They regularly accomplish more work, more quickly than those who lack a work ethic, for they do not quit until the work which they are tasked is completed. At least in part, this is also due to the fact that they wish to appear to be stronger employees, and thus, they wish to appear to be of more benefit to their managers and the company.


Cooperative work can be highly beneficial in a business entity, individuals with a good work ethic know this well. They understand the usefulness of cooperation, e.g., teamwork — they often put an extensive amount of effort into working well with others.

Such people usually respect company authority enough to cooperate with anyone else with whom they are paired, in a polite and productive way, even if the individuals in question are not so ethically inclined.

Ethics in Organizational Culture

Employers, executives and employees, all adhering to an ethics code stimulate an ethical work culture. Business leaders must lead by exhibiting the behavior they wish to see in employees.

Reinforce ethical conduct by rewarding employees who show the integrity and values that coincide with company policy, and discipline those who make the wrong ethical decisions. Positive ethics culture improves morale in a business, plus it may increase productivity and employee retention which cuts the costs of employee churning, consequentially financially benefitting an organization as improved productivity improves company efficiency.