This study examined whether differences in the endorsement of the 'Protestant Work Ethic' (PWE) are related to motivation losses in group work. Three factors were derived from male student scores on the Mirels-Garrett Protestant Work Ethic Scale, Ho's Australian Work Ethic Scale and a scale designed to assess preferences for reward distributions: instrumental value of work, ethical value of work and normative value of equity. The study assessed motivation loss in two situations; one designed to promote free-rider effects and another designed to promote sucker effects. Results showed that the sucker effect was moderated by all three factors but in qualitatively different ways whereas the free rider effect was not strongly moderated by any of the PWE factors.

Group productivity, Motivation losses, Protestant Work Ethic,
Group processes & intergroup relations
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Abele, S.C, & Diehl, M. (2008). Finding teammates who are not prone to sucker and free-rider effects: The protestant work ethic as a moderator of motivation losses in group performance. Group processes & intergroup relations, 11(1), 39–54. doi:10.1177/1368430207084845