The Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Absenteeism in a Selected Field Services Section Within an Electricity Utility in the Western Cape

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THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JOB SATISFACTION AND ABSENTEEISM IN A SELECTED FIELD SERVICES SECTION WITHIN AN ELECTRICITY UTILITY IN THE WESTERN CAPE

BEVERLEY ANN JOSIAS

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF COMMERCE

IN THE

FACULTY OF ECONOMIC AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE

NOVEMBER 2005

SUPERVISOR: Mr Karl Heslop

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ABSTRACT

Absenteeism - employees not showing up for work when scheduled - can be a major problem for organisations. As pressures increase on the budgets and competitiveness of companies, more attention is being given to reduce workplace absenteeism and its cost. Most research has concluded that absence is a complex variable and that it is influenced by multiple causes, both personal and organisational. Job satisfaction has been noted as one of the factors influencing an employee’s motivation to attend. Studies on the

relationship between absenteeism and job satisfaction seem to be inconsistent. Some research has found no correlation between these two variables whereas other studies indicate a weak to moderate relationship between these two variables.

There is limited research on the job satisfaction-absenteeism relationship within South African organisations. The aim of the present study was therefore to determine whether there is a relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism in a selected department within an Electricity Utility in the Western Cape.

One hundred and twenty one (121) respondents completed a biographical questionnaire as well as a Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) to identify their levels of job satisfaction. To ascertain the extent of absenteeism, respondents were asked to report on their number of days absent and their absence frequency within a six month period.

Results indicate that there is a weak, inverse relationship between both the number and frequency of sick leave days and the job satisfaction levels of the sampled employees.

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The relationship between biographical variables and absenteeism was also investigated. The results indicate a significant relationship between respondents’ biographical characteristics (gender, age, number of dependents, tenure and marital status) absenteeism. and

There was no statistically significant correlation between job level of

respondents and absenteeism.

The relationship between biographical variables and job satisfaction was also investigated. The study found that the six biographical characteristics significantly

explain the variance in job satisfaction. The variance accounted for by these six variables is however, relatively small. Furthermore, the results indicate that job level and tenure are the best predictors of job satisfaction in the selected sample.

Key words
Absenteeism Consequences of absenteeism Measures of absence Model of attendance Reducing absenteeism Demographic variables Job satisfaction Theories of job satisfaction Measures of job satisfaction Causes of job satisfaction

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION
1.1 INTRODUCTION To many in the world of work, absenteeism is one of those stubborn problems for which “…..there is no clear culprit and no easy cure” (Rhodes & Steers, 1990, p. 1). Furthermore, as a general phenomenon it does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of sex, race and religion. Bydawell (2000, p. 15) postulates that “employers have the right to expect good attendance from their employees as employment is a contract between two consenting parties.” The author further states that absentee issues will undoubtedly arise within the employment relationship, and should be resolved in a manner which is fair and equitable to both the employer and the employee. Absenteeism can be very costly to organisations and enormous savings can be realised through effective management of non-attendance at work.

Besides the cost implications, absenteeism is...
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