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Title: The influence of religion over work ethic values: The case of Islam and Turkish SME owner-managers
Authors: Uygur, Selçuk
Advisors: Spence, LJ
Ayios, A
Keywords: Business ethics;Max weber;Protestant ethic;Entrepreneurship;Entrepreneurship culture and Turkey
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Brunel University Brunel Business School PhD Theses
Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to explore the influence of religion on the work ethic values of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner-managers in Turkey. The emergence of religious/pious business people in Turkey has been regarded as a phenomenon. This research pays special attention to the religious transformation and secularism in Turkey. It is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with 32 Turkish SME owner-managers. The sample of the study has been divided into two groups: The practicing Muslim Turkish managers (the religious group), and non/less practicing Muslim Turkish managers (the secular group). Discourse analysis of the qualitative data, first, clarifies where to seek the religious influence on business activities. It indicates that the influence of religion should be sought within individuals‘ conduct/manner of living leading the moral values and the mentalities of the business people, rather than seeking cause and affect relationship. The contemporary Islamic interpretation in Turkey, as it is called Turkish/Anatolian interpretation of Islam, is found to re-shape the existing teachings of the religion and reproduce the religious structure through the practices. In this respect, five distinguishing characteristics emerged as signs of the religious influence behind the pious business people‘s actions: Hard work as an Islamic duty, good will (intention), responsibility, bounty/benevolence and the balance/equilibrium in one‘s life. It is also observed that the new Islamic discourse in Turkey provides moral energy exclusively for the religious business people in terms of influencing and encouraging entrepreneurial activities. Meanwhile, the study demonstrates that the work ethic values of the religious Turkish SME owner-managers have been evolving to be more rational and professional, especially after the 1980s liberal economy. This transformation has been evaluated within the concept of secularisation.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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