Religion as an environmental influence on enterprise culture – the case of Britain in the 1980s.
Anderson, Alistair R.
Dodd, Sarah Drakopoulou
Scott, Michael G.
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ANDERSON, A. R., DRAKOPOULOU-DODD, S. L. and SCOTT, M. G., 2000. Religion as an environmental influence on enterprise culture – the case of Britain in the 1980s. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 6 (1), pp. 5-20.
This paper explores the role of religion in the formation and development of enterprise culture. The approach is that of legitimisation leading to an increase in environmental munifence. It is argued that entrepreneurial activity was encouraged by the use of an entrepreneurial theology specifically articulated by Margaret Thatcher. Parallels are drawn to Max Weber's work on the protestant work ethic, particularly in the way he argued that changes in the socio-cultural framework of theology allowed, permitted and encouraged entrepreneurial action in what he called the new rational capitalism. Different aspects of the theological underpinnings of enterprise are discussed. The key findings are that religion played a significant role. It provided a Thatcherite rhetoric which became a moral crusade which was passionately pursued. Entrepreneurship was thus elevated to a new moral high ground; this was in spite of the strongly contested views of the Church. Interestingly, it appears that religious support for entrepreneurship, albeit in a modified form, continues with New Labour.