Review of Literature on Absenteeism Dynamics

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON ABSENTEEISM DYNAMICS
INTRODUCTION
Literature reviews are acknowledged as valuable contributions to advancement of research. When done well, they help researchers sum up where have been and where they need to go next. They identify gaps in knowledge and suggest new directions for future research. That such endeavors are considered useful is reflected in the number published each year. Reviews of research literature are carried out for several reasons. One reason is to assess state of current knowledge. Relatedly, literature reviews assess what is not known-the gaps in knowledge. It is quite common in published literature reviews to find a discussion of what directions ought to be taken by future research on a topic. Such discussions define productive lines of research and promote integration of future findings with current knowledge. A third reason is to advance theory. Good literature reviews make strong statements about validity of theories and stimulate new theoretical development. A fourth reason is to answer the ‘so what’ question so often put to behavioural science research. That is, literature reviews provide statements about policy implications of research findings, practices that can be justified on the basis of research.

Post - industrial era is characterized by increasing knowledge, by tension arising from individuals’ need for stability and organizations’ need for change, through complex relationships between organizations individual’s responsibilities increasing global competitiveness. This new environment, of accelerating change, globalization and reliance on individual knowledge as its primary resource for economic success brought about abundant theories, models and studies dealing with various aspects of improving (organizational) effectiveness. Two main streams of thought differentiate; performance-oriented school of thought driven by quest to improve quantitative outputs of organization and humanitarian school of thought that advocates human relation to encourage employees' voluntary compliance and performance. Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from a duty or obligation. Traditionally, absenteeism has been viewed as an indicator of poor individual performance, as well as a breach of an implicit contract between personnel and employer (management problem) framed in economic or quasi-economic terms. Recent scholarship seeks to understand absenteeism as an indicator of psychological, medical or social adjustment to work. Frequent absence from workplace may be indicative of poor morale or of sick building syndrome. According to studies, personnels who are dissatisfied with their jobs are absent more frequently. The type of dissatisfaction that most often leads personnels to miss work is dissatisfaction with work itself. Reasons for absenteeism are varied: behavioural, economic, social, health – related, organisational. Studies on these have been reviewed in the following sections. Retention of qualified Army personnel is a major priority in most Armies. Identifying critical organizational, job and individual factors in the process absenteeism has obvious utility implications. Early models of absenteeism were relatively simple, relating absenteeism directly to job attitudes like satisfaction and commitment. Latter models were more complex, yet still attitude - centered. In these, decision making processes involved in withdrawal were emphasized. Mobley’s (1977) model, which proposes several intermediate linkages between job satisfaction and absenteeism, has received considerable attention. The original formulation was later modified / simplified and contributed significantly to accumulation of absenteeism literature. In the model, job satisfaction is said to have an influence on thinking of quitting, which in turn leads to intention to search. Intention to search is hypothesized to influence intention to quit, which leads to absenteeism. In addition to its mediated /...
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