Study Suggests Catholics Love Their Work More Than Evangelicals

Justin Cabeen works on a rear brake caliper while volunteering to work on people's cars on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at Agee's Automotive Repair in Lincoln, Neb. (Credit: Matt Ryerson/The Journal-Star via AP.)
Justin Cabeen works on a rear brake caliper while volunteering to work on people’s cars on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at Agee’s Automotive Repair in Lincoln, Neb. (Credit: Matt Ryerson/The Journal-Star via AP.)

In a recent study by Baylor University, evidence shows that Catholics win out over Christian Evangelicals in terms of who is the most emotionally committed to their place of employment. The one mitigating factor, according to the study, is how big the company is. The smaller the company, data suggests, the more committed the Catholic is.

In a recent study by Baylor University investigating how faith might affect the workplace, evidence shows that Catholics win out over Christian Evangelicals in terms of who is the most emotionally committed to their place of employment.

The one mitigating factor, according to the study, is how big the company is.  The smaller the company, data suggests, the more committed the Catholic is.

A Baylor press release stated that, “When they work for companies with 2,000 or more employees, the emotional commitment to the workplace [among Catholics] is similar to that of individuals with lower attachments to God.”

Blake V. Kent, a sociologist in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, headed the study and said he wanted to examine Evangelical Christians and Catholics in comparison due to their different viewpoints about how they approach and think about work and the workplace.

Yet, Kent said he can’t be certain of the reason for the differences the study found, guessing that “for religious believers, being committed to work may be a way of ‘doing’ a religious commitment – not just earning a paycheck, but rather, cooperating with God for a larger purpose.”

The findings may strike observers as counter-intuitive, for a couple of reasons.

First, historically it’s been Protestants, not Catholics, generally credited with investing the “Protestant Work Ethic,” a phrase made famous by German sociologist Max Weber. His idea was that the emphasis in Calvinism especially on demonstrating one’s salvation through hard work and frugality fueled the development of capitalism in the West.

In addition, there’s the concept of the “prosperity gospel” in both Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity, which holds that faithful Christian life will be rewarded with financial and material success.

Kent expanded on earlier research focusing on people who experience God as a “secure base” for attachments, and therefore find more job satisfaction as well as an emotional commitment to those jobs.

Kent’s study – “Attachment to God, religious tradition and firm attributes in workplace commitment” is published in The Journal of Social Psychology.

In the current study, Kent analyzed data taken from a random U.S. sample of adults done by Gallup in 2010.

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SOURCE: Crux
Shannon Levitt

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