Research Issues in Empirical Inquiry on Absenteeism (Based on Compiled Literature)

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(Based on Compiled Literatures)
Jyoti Satpathy

Absenteeism is a classical topic in the proposition agenda of Indian Organisation (Organisation, hereafter for this proposal) linkages. Since early years of organisation problem solving, a great deal of proposition activities have been conducted. In recent years, scope of absenteeism has been greatly expanded due to rapidly escalating competitive arena and increasing number of employees who are employed in useful work in Organisation. The routes covered are determined by concentration of employees serving along those routes. However, this has its own problems, as evidenced from past experiences. For instance, it could be contracted out to other organisation for effective management. Other measures that Organisation has implemented include developing strong teamwork among employees as this increases job satisfaction. Hence, enthusiasm of employees to come to work and meet team members has increased. There are several methods that management has adopted to make the issue of absenteeism manageable. These include developing career paths and / or providing relevant training for career growth, which may engender work aspirations and disciplines among employees.

In almost all Armies globally, management is confronted with the day-to-day problem of employee absenteeism. Employee absenteeism, scheduled or unscheduled, for short or long periods, legitimate or without acceptable reasons, remains a problem. Approximately one third of organisations keep proper records of absenteeism. The impact of absenteeism on an organisation (cost, measurement, managing and control, as well as benchmarking absenteeism against other similar organisations) is not always considered or established. Many organisations do not have adequate absenteeism policies. Management is not always aware of the impact of absenteeism, despite the fact that absenteeism does have a major impact on productivity, profits and morale. Organisation linkages proposition (absenteeism, turnover etc) is receiving increasing attention that requires effective utilisation of human resources. There is a need to construct a model on absenteeism proposition. The model needs to be developed and applied that engages in planning, imparting and monitoring affairs in Organisation. The model ought to quantify implications to human resources practices in contemporary organisation as well as consider theoretical and empirical developments in personality, affect and absenteeism proposition.

Contributing Factors: There are many reasons for and causes of employees being absent from their place of work. Some reasons and causes are justified, while others are not. Prof Taylor of London University opines as follows: • Sixty per cent of all absentees have serious or chronic illnesses, • Twenty per cent have acute, short-term illnesses such as the flu, • Ten per cent feel unwell because of minor illnesses. These employees do or don’t report to work according to their attitude • Ten percent of employees are completely well but feign illness to enjoy a day off. It is this group of absentees who make up the bottom twenty per cent who are suspect. Industrial psychologists call their virus voluntary absence. Control Measures: There are two types of absenteeism, each of which requires a different type of approach. Innocent Absenteeism (refers to employees who are absent for reasons beyond their control, like sickness and injury. Innocent absenteeism is not culpable which means that it is blameless). Culpable Absenteeism (refers to employees who are absent without authorization for reasons which are within their control. For instance, a employee who is on sick leave even though he/she is not sick, and it can be proven that the employee was not sick, is guilty of culpable absenteeism. In labour relations context this means that progressive discipline can be applied). For the...
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