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Religion, the Scottish work ethic and the spirit of entreprise.

Smith, Robert


Robert Smith


Using a historical approach, this paper revisits Max Webers 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 Webers 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.


SMITH, R. 2009. Religion, the Scottish work ethic and the spirit of entreprise. International journal of entrepreneurship and innovation [online], 10(2), pages 111-124. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2009
Online Publication Date May 1, 2009
Publication Date May 31, 2009
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2009
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2009
Journal International journal of entrepreneurship and innovation
Print ISSN 1465-7503
Electronic ISSN 2043-6882
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 111-124
Keywords Entrepreneurial culture; Religion; Entrepreneurial drives; Theological drives; Scottish work ethic; Protestant work ethic
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