Work ethics and the socio-economic development of society in Tooro- western Uganda
The research presents work ethic of different ethnic groups and the impact created on socio-economic development of society in Tooro region. The region which is made up of five districts namely Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo and Ntoroko, only three districts- Kabarole, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo- were selected in this study for feasibility and suitability reasons to the researcher. The ethnic groups dominating in the districts of Kabarole, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo are Bakiga, Bakonjo, Bamba and Batooro. The different groups have varied work ethics demonstrating the varied ethnic values consequently their impact on socio-economic development is equally different. The objectives that guided the study were: to examine the work ethics and purpose of work in society of Tooro; to examine the impact of work ethics on socio-economic development of society; and analyse the challenges arising from socio-economic development and suggest strategies to address the challenges. Mixed research design was used, where both qualitative and quantitative approaches were applied to address the research questions together with the objectives. The variety of methods for data collection included non- participatory observations in homes, real work situations and projects; open and close questionnaires on 72 respondents; face to face interviews on 86 informants carefully selected considering their gender, age and positions held in society; focus group discussion on the small groups ranging from 5-9 people who felt confortable to respond to the questions in a group rather than as an individual; and documentary review for secondary data particularly from text books, journals dessertations, webites and Government papers. The findings in regard to the objectives show that work in pre-colonial Tooro was purposed for the convenience of the family and community. To ably achieve this, work ethics were emphasised and imbended in everyday practice, taboos, proverbs, tales and stories, and wise sayings of the population. The colonial and independence periods introduced new patterns of work, work for money hence adopting new terms and conditions of work. The change of economy from subsistence to monetary greatly influenced society’s work ethics; purpose, environment and meaning of work. There are challenges created by socio-economic development which include among others decline of traditional society values of family and community. People are concerned about individual progress hence more competition than cooperation among members of the family and community for jobs and resources. There developed unethical behaviours in work for example embezzlement, cheating, bribing, dodging work and not completing work tasks among others. Despite the challenges which developed, some strategies of team work, adopting modern ways of work among others have been taken on. It was concluded that work ethics in the society of Tooro were negatively influenced by the colonial and independence era which brought in different reasons for work, replacing the traditional work ethics with unethical behaviours. Where good work ethics are practiced, there has been a positive impact on socio-economic development in society, however, the contrary is true with poor work ethics, emphasising the fact that work ethics are very crutial for socio-economic development. Further that not all cases of economic development have impacted positively on social relation and development. It was recommended for the society of Tooro to observe such good work ethic of hard work respect of work and workers, among others in order to maintain the humane characteristic nature of society in Tooro. Further that people in Tooro region should learn to save to invest than save to spend a practice which has contributed to low socio-economic development. The government should provide social facilities in rural areas where the majority of the population live in order to curb urban-rural migration a practice that has deprived the area of manpower and development. Also establish a living wage as a reference point for employers and employees; establish clear terms and conditions of work; and create work tribunals for people to seek arbitration in cases of discontent at work.