Religion, the Scottish work ethic and the spirit of enterprise.
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Using a historical approach, this paper revisits Max Weber’s ‘Protestant ethic’, addressing in particular a variant form of it – the ‘Scottish work ethic’. It examines that ethic as both a collective and individuated theological drive that helped shape the proto-entrepreneurial proclivity of the Scottish people. The Scottish work ethic is a secularized drive peculiar to Scotland with its strong Calvinistic religious heritage and emphasis on hard work, thrift and education. From an academic perspective, although much has been written about the Protestant ethic and Weber’s thesis, the same cannot be said of the Scottish work ethic. This paper fills this gap in the literature while extending consideration of the nature of the work ethic to include the power of religion and theological drives in the creation of the prevalent spirit of enterprise within a people.