Regardless of the underlying causes for the work ethic differences detected by this study, work ethic will continue to play a vital role in the success of people at work in a technological world. Employers continue to seek employees who have strong attributes related to dependability, interpersonal skills, and initiative. The importance of these work ethic factors will continue to grow as technology creates autonomy in the workplace and teamwork and participatory management styles are implemented. Technical competence will never be sufficient to assure successful job performance, and all workforce preparation programs should include comprehensive content that includes a work ethic component.
At the same time, supervisors should take care to avoid negative overreactions to lower levels of work ethic that they might observe in workers seeking other employment, particularly when they wish to retain that worker. It is possible that employed jobseekers are unaware of a reduction in their own work ethic, in which case an overly critical approach by an employer or supervisor could elicit a further negative reaction. Although this study reveals that a lessening of the work ethic may occur in jobseeking employees, further research is needed to fully understand this dynamic. The data analyzed for this research project were not directed toward revealing the causes for the phenomena observed.
Respect is more than a feeling, but a demo of honor, value, and admiration for something or someone. We respect the laws, the people we work with, the company and its assets, and ourselves.
The key finding revealed by this study was that jobseeking individuals employed full-time had significantly lower work ethic scores than jobseekers unemployed less than 3 months and than jobseekers unemployed due to layoff. Variance was not so great as to be deemed significantly different between workers who had part-time employment and those who had been unemployed for more than 3 months. This reveals an interesting dynamic for those seeking to assist jobseekers in their search for new employment opportunities.
By the time that Laura published her first book, Rose was a frumpish, middle-aged divorcée, who was tormented by rotten teeth and suffered from bouts of suicidal depression, which she diagnosed in her journal, with more insight than many doctors of the era, as a mental illness. For more than a decade, she had earned a good living with what she considered literary hack work for the San Francisco Bulletin, its rival, the Call, various magazines, and the Red Cross Publicity Bureau. She had published commercial fiction, travelogues, ghostwritten memoirs, and several celebrity biographies. Charles Ingalls’s granddaughter had inherited his wanderlust, and her career had given her a chance to indulge it. Much of her reporting had been filed from exotic places. She had lived among bohemians in Paris and Greenwich Village, Soviet peasants and revolutionaries, intellectuals in Weimar Berlin, survivors of the massacres in Armenia, Albanian rebels, and camel-drivers on the road to Baghdad.
There is an almost uncanny homology between Hardt and Negri’s assessment of our current economic transformations and the strategies deployed by artists negotiating the ramifications of labor’s prior transformation. Artists who play out the roles of both manager and worker in task-based and Process works render the logic of industrial production into aesthetic information. Artists who mime the structure of management both creatively and routinely manipulate information. (What better way to describe a serial logic?) And artists who turn to the viewer to complete the work consistently do so in a bodily and affective mode. Given these sympathies, it is perhaps no mistake that Hardt and Negri argue that we need “to recognize the profound economic power of cultural movements, or really the increasing indistinguishability of economic and cultural phenomena.”34 All of the artists in this exhibition in some way stage, manage, and/or resolve the cultural and societal anxieties that surround changing definitions and divisions of labor. Some seem to have understood these transformations in an almost prescient manner. This is crucial, as work and professional life constitute an increasingly powerful site of our identity (as much, if not more so, than family, religion, and ethnicity). As we try to cope with the increasing regimentation and administration of our daily lives—both at work and at leisure—artists offer tentative, temporary solutions, stopgap measures, or blockades in the road.
“He’s not great by accident is my point. He puts the work in. And I think what I learned about Kobe is he’s so hungry to be good, he puts the work in. I just think his hunger and his determination is what I was most impressed with.”
It has long been known that Kobe Bryant is one of the hardest workers in the history of the NBA, and here, in some rare insight, we hear from his fellow players and coaches of his incredible work ethic.
We don’t have an unemployment problem in this country. We have a resource allocation problem. Workers are a resource, we just aren’t as good as a society at using that resource and part of the reason why is that we don’t have laws written and enforced to prevent people misusing this resource (by which I mean businesses misusing it,) to their maximal advantage. If you made it impossible for them to do this, it would likely curb the abuses to which people are subjected to.
All of the above artworks engage the problem of labor through the figure of the artist, either as a combined worker/manager or simply as a manager. But our discussion opened with “the death of the author” and the newly central place of the viewer. The viewer is hardly universal, however, and the type of viewer imagined and interpolated by works of art varies greatly. Some artworks are not complete, though, without viewer participation, and as the viewer is pressed into service, it remains unclear whether the activity is work or play. In each instance, the role of the artist as someone who fabricates something designed to promote contemplation is radically altered: the artist now is someone who provides an experience for an audience.
Once more, we can learn a bit from word origins. The word origin for "role," it is thought, came from the fact that actors in the 1600's were handed a "roll" of paper with their script for being a character a play. In other words, one's "role" is the part played by a person in life, as one dictionary puts it. Again, this may work for something as simple as measuring the impact of car accidents. But when it comes to measuring mental and emotional well being, shouldn't we have a measure of the number of days in one's life that one fulfills the role one has written for one's self? How many days are we living the life of our dreams?
When major global organizations such as World Bank and World Health Organization have needed to study the impact of mental and emotional problems on society, they often use a measure that is called "days out of role." This method of measurement may work fairly well for, say, automobile accidents. One can come up with a number of days people harmed by automobile accidents are not fulfilling their chosen role of worker, parent, student, etc., and then give that a monetary value. However, as we now know, mental and emotional differences and difficulties are far more complex than a car accident. It is revealing that the ultimate definition of a mental and emotional problem by these international bodies is when you are not fulfilling your "role" in the great system of commerce that is a dominant force in the world today.
The artists involved with participatory works imagined or interpolated varied audiences, but they shared a common goal of reinvigorating and enlivening the bureaucratic subject of postindustrial labor. Could the repressive structures of an administered society be loosened without risking an (unwitting?) repression elsewhere? As we have seen, the solution for some artists has been to establish a realm of participatory ludic play. The Duchampian legacy, replete with its ambivalence toward work and art, presented many artists with a humorous conundrum: If what artists make is art, then is anything an artist does art? Numerous artists attempted to blur the distinctions between art and life, work and play, by bestowing the name and value of art upon their everyday “non-art” activities. Often this has looked like nice work if you could get it. For instance, Smashed (1972) is a deadpan parody of task-based work, as Gilbert and George offer black-and-white photographs of their drunken antics. Similarly, Tom Marioni held a weekly “performance,” The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends Is the Highest Form of Art (1970), in which friends and artists came together to drink beer, stacking up their empty bottles as an indexical sculpture, clear evidence of process being more important than product. In these works, the artists suggested that rather than blurring art and life for its own sake (a kind of avant-garde formalism) or parodying the structure of a highly administered workplace (a repetition of business as usual), the encroachment of work into the space of leisure could be effectively countered by creating a situation where leisure overtakes work.