Character in the Workplace

EDITOR'S NOTE: I copied this from the International Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences. I only changed the formatting to make it a little easier to read. I left everything else intact.
Here is the link to the actual article:
(I think the article has since been removed.)

Essentially, the article points out what happened when character development was removed from university training. Because character development was only practiced at faith-based schools, the politically-correct and perpetually-offended crowd said that character development was a religious practice of indoctrination, and should be removed. After winning the argument, history has shown that high-quality character is much needed by employers, and a return to the development of character has ensued in some universities.

Disciplined character: A re-emerging quality for graduate employability in Ghana 

*1Blasu Ebenezer Yaw and 2Kuwornu-Adjaottor Jonathan E. T. 
1Chaplaincy and Life Values Promotion Centre, Presbyterian University College, Ghana, P.O. Box AB 59, Abetifi-Ghana 
2Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 
Kumasi, Ghana 
Accepted April 24, 2013 

While not everyone who goes to university aims at moving on to further study, most students expect to improve their employability (public or private) and/or increase earnings with university education (American Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2011).

Employability is composed of a set of achievements, skills, understandings and personal attributes that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations (Yorke and Knight, 2006). In this sense employability is not just about getting a job, it is about keeping it.

It is about graduates developing malleable skills and qualities that will help them maximize their potential in any workplace and enable them to realize this potential (Ulster, 2011). 

So, employers expect graduates to exhibit a wide range of personal attributes in addition to the acquisition of a body of knowledge (Harvey et al., 1997). In Ghana, Presbyterian Church of Ghana had emphasized a holistic philosophy of training that made the learner gained excellent intellectual knowledge in the head, very skilful with the hands and cherished disciplined character in the heart – with high moral responsibilities dubbed ‘the Presbyterian Discipline’.

This meant one who received character training and excellent academic education (Asare, 1995) – what Astin et al., (2011) referred to as development of both the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ of a person at the same time. However, 40 years after the political administration took over supervision of all educational institutions, including the faith-based 
schools, in the mid 20th century; emphasis on “the Presbyterian Discipline” began to wane out from the church-based schools. By the close of the 20th and turn-in of the 21st century “the Presbyterian Discipline” had virtually died out from the educational institutions. 

The level of the resultant negative effects of the absence of ‘the Presbyterian Discipline’ on industry, societal and economic life became so highly obvious that both the church and state leadership declared ‘war against indiscipline’ (Prempeh, 2003).

However, with the inception of private universities by the close of the 20th century, attempts in Ghana by some private faith-based universities to actively inculcate Christian character values in students met outcry from both some students and members of the public. The protesters tended to regard Christian character promotion programmes as unnecessary imposition of institutional doctrines on students; infringement on their religious 
freedom and interference with their primary reason for coming to the university.

Yet, about the same time (the close of the twentieth century), there has been an emerging global movement for the formal cultivation of moral values and ethical behaviours in undergraduate education. Dalton et al. (2011) described it as a very interesting and unexpected thing happening in higher education institutions in many places.

They observed that instead of becoming more secular and irreligious, colleges and universities have become increasingly engaged with the moral values and character development of their students. Bahai educationists see the phenomenon as an imperative occurrence in the developmental history of humanity, which is necessary for the moral and material benefits of the age (Bahai Topics, 2011).

Thus, some employers began to reemphasize need for disciplined character as employable qualities in both entrĂ©e and continuing employees (ACCI, 2002), or that graduates must exhibit wide range of personal attributes in addition to a body of knowledge (Harvey et al., 1997). Perhaps, students’ protestations to character promotion in Ghana could be due to their ignorance that despite the waning down of the once cherished “Presbyterian Discipline”, disciplined character is re-emerging as an equally serious employable quality as their academics. 

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