Spirituality and Workplace Ethics

Some company managers believe that employees who are more religious or spiritual than others also tend to be harder-working, more reliable and ethical than their non-religious peers. But a recent study suggests the opposite may be true.

Daniel Martin, a professor at California State University — East Bay, “recently conducted a study involving 158 students at his school of varying ages and from a variety of backgrounds and religions (including those with no religious beliefs).

“The students were given a series of widely used psychometric tests along with questionnaires to determine their ethics, morals and professional and social habits as well as the degree of their involvement with religion.

“The research revealed little correlation between spirituality and integrity and responsibility, Martin says.

“More notably, the researchers found positive correlations between religiosity and negative behavior towards the organization, such as stealing supplies, filing false expense claims and the like, he says.

“The study also revealed positive correlations between religiosity and negative behaviors toward other people, such as lying, making disparaging remarks, etc.

“Martin says he was surprised by the findings and is not sure why religious people may be more prone to the negative behaviors shown in the study.”

Most disturbing if true of Jesus followers.

What is your reaction to these findings?

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3 Responses to “Spirituality and Workplace Ethics”

  1. Josh L-W says:

    If you believe that we are called to follow Jesus, It suggests that “religiosity” is something quite different from attempting to live a genuine life of Christ-imitation. Which, to tell the truth, is not all that surprising to me. In fact, in some cases, such “religiosity” might become a barrier.

    It might also have to do with the marriage in the American mind between capitalism and Christianity– which might allow for white-collar crimes to be justified…. although nowadays, it may have more to do with the laissez-faire attitude to community life and ethics that our churches’ reductionistic versions of Christianity promote.

  2. Sadly, I am not surprised, though more so because it surveyed young adults. This is no excuse, but we live in an age of dangerous entitlement. We have found it staggeringly apparent in the church.

  3. Gina Shipp says:

    2 possibilities. 1) So-called Christians are more honest on the survey about their bad behavior, 2) So-called Christians are good at wearing masks, being two-faced, acting one way on Sunday but pagan on the other days. Definitely not the same as spiritual.

    I vote for #2. There is a lot of pressure to look good as a so-called Christian, even though the Word has made no impact on their lives. And boy does it go WAY beyond stealing office supplies!