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Subject Sociology » Work, Management, Occupations, and Organizations

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Absenteeism is failing to report for scheduled work. As such, it is the violation of a social obligation to be in a particular place at a particular time ( Harrison and Martocchio, 1998 ). Traditionally, absenteeism was viewed as an indicator of poor individual performance and a breach of an implicit contract between employee and employer. Thus, it was seen as a management problem and framed in economic or quasi-economic terms. Indeed, economists most frequently view absenteeism in labor supply terms. More recently, absenteeism has increasingly been viewed as an indicator of psychological, medical, or social adjustment to work. The most prominent of the psychological models is the withdrawal model, which assumes that absenteeism represents individual withdrawal from dissatisfying working conditions. This model finds empirical support in a negative association between absence and job satisfaction, especially satisfaction with regard to the content of the work itself. It also finds support in a “progression” of withdrawal from being late, to being absent, to quitting a job. Psychological approaches have also linked employee disposition to absenteeism. Hence, the conscientious, those high in positive affect, and those who score high on composite tests of integrity are disinclined to be absent. Dispositional explanations find some corroboration in the fact that individual absenteeism ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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