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Work values, employment and ethnicity: Jewish and Muslim academic graduates in Israel

Moshe Sharabi (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Yezreel Valley College, Jezreel Valley, Israel, and The Center for the Study of Organizations and Human Resources, Graduate School of Business, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 23 October 2009




The purpose of the paper is to compare the importance of work and other areas of life, as well as preferred work goals, among Jewish and Muslim academic graduates who work in the Israeli labor market.


The Meaning‐of‐Work questionnaire was conducted on 362 Jewish and 73 Muslim academic graduates.


The research findings reveal significant differences in all areas of life (work, family, leisure, community and religion) and in six of the eleven work goals. The MDS of Jews and Muslims also demonstrate different perceptions and internalization of work values among the two ethnic groups.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study are related to the measures (importance of life areas and preferred work goals). Using a single‐item measure and ranking measures may not be the optimal, but those measures were used in a variety of studies conducted in several countries.

Practical implications

The findings attributed to cultural differences, ethnic conflict, as well as to the employment opportunities given to Jewish and Muslim academic graduates. The extra‐high work centrality of Muslim academic graduates reflects high non‐actualized potential for organizations and for Israeli society.


Work values of Muslims in general, and of Muslim academic graduates in particular, have not yet been studied in Israel and this is a preliminary study, which interprets findings through cultural, economic and social aspects of Jews and Muslims in Israel.



Sharabi, M. (2009), "Work values, employment and ethnicity: Jewish and Muslim academic graduates in Israel", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 398-409.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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