Broadening the perspective on employee absenteeism: the effects of work group and nonwork factors
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The present study examined employee absenteeism in relation to variables new to absenteeism literature while addressing several methodological issues highlighted in the literature. Subjects (N=371) from a large hospital complex responded to questionnaire items relating to job attitudes, attitudes toward absence, nonwork attitudes and events, group norms and cohesiveness, and organizational policies. Four absence measures were derived from 12 months of absence data that distinguished between total hours and number of occurrences as well as between types of absences (scheduled versus unscheduled). Each absence measure was examined and analyzed in relation to single questionnaire items, composite variables, and demographic variables. Only two measures, absence hours and total occurrences, were included in the results. Although overall findings were limited to small significant correlations, and regression analyses were unsuccessful in predicting significant amounts of variance, several findings were noteworthy. Evidence indicates that distinctions between absence measures were important: Job satisfaction was significantly correlated only with the total absence hours measure, whereas job involvement was significantly correlated with frequency of absence. Further, contrary to previous research, female respondents were not absent more than male respondents. Exploratory analyses revealed different patterns of responses for male and female respondents for job satisfaction with females showing a higher correlation between job satisfaction and absences than males. A derived measure of group norms was the most unique finding. The group norms variable was significantly correlated with both absence measures, and was the only significant variable in regression analyses which included job satisfaction, perception of influences of external events and ratings of positive consequences of absence. Future research should investigate further the measurement of this variable and its effect on absence behavior.
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