Managing absenteeism theories in OB

Absenteeism is the term generally used to pass on to impulsive employee absences from the workplace. Many causes of absenteeism are legitimate personal illness or family issues for example but absenteeism also can often be traced to other factors such as a poor work environment or workers who are not committed to their jobs. If such absences become excessive they can have a seriously adverse impact on a business’s operations and ultimately its profitability.

A three component model of organizational commitment was used to study job withdrawal intentions turnover and absenteeism. Affective commitment emerged as the most consistent predictor of these outcome variables and was the only view of commitment related to turnover and to absenteeism. In contrast normative commitment was related only to withdrawal intentions while no direct effects for continuance commitment were observed. Persistence commitment however interacts with affective commitment in predicting job removal intentions and absenteeism. The form of the interaction was such that high sunk costs tempered relationships between moving commitment and the related outcome variables.

Recent thinking about top management has been unfair by option models of man. Economic approaches to governance such as agency theory tend to assume some form of homo-economicus, which depict subordinates as unusual opportunistic and self serving. Alternatively sociological and psychological approaches to governance such as stewardship theory depict subordinates as collectivists pro-organizational and reliable. Through this research we attempt to reconcile the difference between these assumptions by proposing a model based upon the subordinate’s psychological attributes and the organization’s situational characteristics.

Absenteeism Measure

Absence measurement is essential in order for management to compare between individual absence and departmental absences. Measuring absence is critical to identify the different patterns of employee absence and target the variables affecting it. There are various ways to measure absenteeism the most commonly used are the lost time rate formula and the individual frequency formula.

Absenteeism rate = Number of Man days lost *100

Individual frequency = number of absent employees/average number of employees*100

Limitations do exist when trying to measure absenteeism whether with data collection or data correctness thus managers should be alert to stay on top of such limitations and handle them with care and accuracy.

Types of absenteeism

Absenteeism are classified in to four types

Authorized Absenteeism

if and employee absent himself from work by taking permission form his superior and applying for leave.

Unauthorized Absenteeism

If an employee absent himself from work without informing or taking permission and without applying for leave.

Willful Absenteeism

If an employee absents himself from duty willfully.

Absenteeism caused by circumstances beyond one’s control

If an employee absent himself from duty owing to the circumstances beyond his control like accidents or sickness.

Causes for Absenteeism

In order to identify the causes and extent of absenteeism proper records should be kept in every department for various causes of absenteeism such as age sex days of the week and classes of jobs by each division. Generally following reasons are attributable for absenteeism at work

Nature of the work

Poor working conditions

Absence of regular leave arrangements


Poor control

Irregular transport facilities

Lack of interest

Indebt ness

Alcoholism and gambling habits

Low level of wages

Miscellaneous causes

The responsibilities of the supervisor regarding absenteeism. In addition to ensuring that work is appropriately covered during the employee’s absence there are a number of her critical actions that supervisors need to take to manage absenteeism, they should: ensure that all employees are fully aware of the organization’s policies and procedures for dealing with absence be the first point of contact when an employee phones in sick, maintain appropriately detailed accreted up to date absence records for their staff identify any patterns or trends of absence which cause concern conduct return to work interviews and Implement disciplinary procedures where necessary.

Looking at reasons for unscheduled absence the CCH survey found only 34 percent were for personal illness but more than two out of three 66% were for other reasons including family issues 22% personal needs 18% entitlement mentality 13% and workplace demands said Wolf. Another key finding of the survey was how important employee morale was in the workplace. The survey identified a strong link between employee morale and absenteeism. “For example, twice as many employers with poor or fair morale view absenteeism as a serious problem (44%), in contrast with 21 percent of employers whose firm has employees with good or very good morale,” said Wolf. Not surprisingly, absenteeism is higher in companies where morale is low. In 2007, the higher rate was 2.7 percent, and the average was 2.3 percent. The future of a company’s absenteeism is also conditioned by employee morale. The survey found one in three companies (36%) with low or poor employee morale expected an increase of absenteeism in the next two years, whereas only 19 percent of firms with good morale expected such an increase.

Effects of Absenteeism

Absenteeism cause harmful to both the employees and the workers for the following reasons.

Normal work – flow in the factory is disturbed.

Overall production in the factory goes down.

Difficulty is faced in executing the orders in time.

Casual workers may have to be employed to meet production schedules. Such workers are not trained properly.

Overtime allowance bill increases considerably because of higher absenteeism.

When a number of workers absent themselves there is extra pressure of work on their colleagues who are present.

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Workers lose wages for the unauthorized absence from work.

Habitual absentees may be removed from services causing them great hardship.

Motivation Theory

Motives initiate sustain and channel behaviour.

Managers and employees may often confuse them they are separate and distinct concepts. Performance implies evaluation after it occurs and therefore it suggests the presence of some sort of measuring system. Motivation on the other hand is only one of several psychological states that influence performance. For instance an engineer’s performance is reflected in the quality of his designs the number of patents he obtains and the customers satisfaction with cost and performance of his new product. While we would expect a highly motivated engineer to produce excellent products that satisfy the needs of customers it would also be true that his performance could be affected by many other factors besides his motivation level. Such factors include

His ability.

His need for achievement or his type.

The difficultly of the design task.

The extent of job resources available.

His working conditions.

His organizational commitment and job involvement.

Content theory of Motivation

Motivation theories are of two types

content theory

process theory

a content theory of motivation specifies those human needs which activate behaviours aimed at need reduction. Therefore a content theory of motivation answers the question what specific needs cause motivation?

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Abraham Maslow according to professor’s Lawler and suttle 1972 believed that motivation could be explained by organizing human needs into five levels. He made his theory sufficiently broad to address human behaviour in all settings. Not to his surprise his theory was quickly applied to the narrower range of human behaviour in organizational settings. The five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy are shown

The five needs

Physiological needs are to do with the maintenance of the human body. If we are unwell then little else matters until we recover.

Safety needs are about putting a roof over our heads and keeping us from harm. If we are rich strong and powerful, or have good friends we can make ourselves safe.

Belonging needs introduce our tribal nature. If we are helpful and kind to others they will want us as friends.

Esteem needs are for a higher position within a group. If people respect us, we have greater power.

Self-actualization needs are to become what we are capable of becoming which would our greatest achievement.

Managing absenteeism and Maslow’s hierarchy

The need hierarchy tends to parallel employee career development. Early career stages are characterized by security concerns and learning organizational values. After five years or so the employee’s concern shifts to the establishment of a professional identity in the firm and in his chosen profession both forms of recognition help to meet esteem needs. At the same time that esteem needs become active the employee will pursue increased autonomy via promotion and choice project assignments. Increases in authority and responsibility at the expected times on a career path will help employees satisfy esteem needs. Self-actualisation is active during career progress but it evolves in scope. Initially it is job focused but in later career stages it becomes organization focused if the employee rises to a top management position. In this way we manage the absence of manager and employee. There needs are increase and hard work.-+

ERG Theory

Clayton Alderfer extended and simplified Maslow’s Hierarchy into a shorter set of three needs




At the lowest level is the need to stay alive and safe now and in the foreseeable future. When we have satisfied existence needs we feel safe and physically comfortable. The next level once we are safe and secure we consider our social needs. We are not interested in relationships with other people and what they think of us. When we are related we feel a sense of identity and position within our immediate society. This encompasses Maslow’s love/belonging and Esteem needs. At the highest level we seek to grow be creative for ourselves and for our environment. When we are successfully growing we feel a sense of wholeness achievement and fulfillment. This covers Maslow’s self-actualization and transcendence.

Hertzberg’s two factor theory of motivation

A content theory of work motivation which is closely related to Maslow’s hierarchy is Professor Herzberg’s two factor theory or the motivator hygiene theory. In this study of engineers and accountants, Herzberg discovered that the reasons these professionals gave for experiencing motivation were quite different. The employee’s motivation range from: unmotivated dissatisfaction: to neutral: to motivation/satisfaction with the job. The level of experience job motivation/satisfaction depends on the availability of hygiene and motivators. It is apparent that hygiene by them is insufficient to sustain motivation and satisfaction. The various motivators must also be present to sustain the employee’s motivation and satisfaction. In other words hygiene is necessary but not sufficient to sustain high motivation.

Process theories of motivation

Now we turn our attention to those process theories of motivation that help us understand how employees decide to be motivated. Process theories target decision making perception and element of the work environment: especially the available rewards. In this section we will return to equity theory and discuss its important contributions to managers understanding of employee motivation in organizations.

Equity Theory

Equity theory as developed by Professor Stacy Adams (1965) makes a contribution to understanding how employees react to incentives and outcomes in the context of the performance job satisfaction relationship. On its own equity theory is a prominent process theory of motivation. The theory proposes that employees gauge the fairness of their work outcomes in comparison to the work outcomes received by others who perform comparable jobs. To the extent that employees feel that their rewards are inadequate they experience a state of imbalance or perceive inequity. Felt or perceived inequity motivates the employee to take action to address his dissatisfaction. Inequities at work exist whenever employees feel that their rewards for their efforts are less than the rewards or inducements received by others for their efforts or contributions. Both of these mental states are motivating and the employee in question seeks to remove the felt inequity and return to a state of balance or equity. To restore a state of equity and employee might:

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change work inputs and reduce performance efforts

change the outcomes received

exist the circumstances

change the people who are used for comparison

mentally distort or alter the comparison

take a decision to alter the inputs or outcomes of the comparison other

Expectancy Theory

Expectancy theory is a useful managerial tool for understanding employee behaviour. It specifies the relationships between effort performance and rewards. The theory articulates the significance of expectancy instrumentality and valence. These concepts can be applied to work to help employees understand the crucial relationship between performance and rewards. The components of expectancy theory are sensitive to individual differences and organizational factors.

Goal Theory (Locke)


emotions and desires

goals or intentions

responses, actions, work behaviour, performance

consequences, feedback

challenging goals stretch goals lead to higher performance

specific goals lead to higher performance

participation in goal setting increases performance

knowledge of results in necessary for effective achieving of goals

X and Y theory

Theory X

The average person dislikes work and will avoid it he/she can.

Therefore most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work towards organizational objectives.

The average person prefers to be directed to avoid responsibility is relatively unambitious and wants security above all else.

Theory Y

Effort in work is as natural as work and play.

People will apply self control and self direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives without external control or the threat of punishment.

Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement.

People usually accept and often seek responsibility.

The capacity to use a high degree of imagination ingenuity and creativity in solving organizational problem is widely not narrowly distributed in the population.

In industry the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utillised.

Organizational Life- Cycle Theory

Like the people who work in them organizations progress through stages. Organizations are started and if they avoid early failure they expand and mature. Through these various stages the challenges and questions they face change. Understanding the firms life cycle helps managers to recognize signs of an aging and less relevant business model. They need to realize that the kind of structures and activities which work in one stage of a company’s life cycle may not work in another. Therefore the criteria used to judge success and competitiveness may vary with a company stage of development. Organizational life cycle theory has four stages of development.

There are five level/stages in any organization.






Locus of Control

Locus of control refers to one’s beliefs about what cause outcomes in life. Internals believe in the causality of personal behavior while externals believe in the causality of environmental forces. Internals connect responsibility to outcomes in life while externals believe outcomes are created by forces and events outside themselves.

Survey Background and analysis

The unscheduled absence rate for 2007 was 2.3 percent down slightly from 2006 when it was at 2.5 percent according to the CCH survey. Broken down in working hours this means that for every 100 hours of paid productive time companies are also paying for 2.3 hours for unproductive time due to an unscheduled absence. Although this rate seems low at first glance. Wolf said when taken into account the economic costs to an organization can be enormous. The survey tracked rates costs and reasons for unscheduled absences programs used to control these absences most and least effective programs impact of morale on unscheduled absenteeism and presenteeism. If your company suffers from high absenteeism, Wolf suggests measuring and tracking it to focus efforts to reduce absence identifying pockets of absenteeism in particular groups within departments and developing objectives.

Absence control and work/life programs

Most companies must nip the situation at the bud if they want this developing problem to be curbed. According to the survey nearly 66 percent of survey respondents offer flu shot programs to employees. This number has risen from 2006 64 percent. Another option being offered by many firms are health maintenance programs which include proper fitness diet and hygiene classes. These are offered separately or as part of a wellness program or an employee assistance program.

Gorovsky suggested these tips for controlling absenteeism and presenteeism:

Use absence control programs, such as paid leave banks. This eliminates the differentiation between absence types such as vacation illness or personal leave. This also provides employees with more discretion flexibility and control. The survey findings revealed that 69 percent of employers use paid leave banks or paid time off to control presenteeism.

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Don’t discipline employees for legitimate absences such as illnesses when they have depleted their regularly scheduled leave.

Allow employees to carry over unused sick days.

Allow employees to telecommute the survey found 30 percent employers use telecommuting programs to control presenteeism.

Absenteeism cannot be eliminated altogether, so measures should be taken to minimize the rate of absenteeism. Measures are as follows

Popper hiring

It is necessary that people with rights skills and experience are selected. Every employee should as far as possible be assigned work according to capabilities aptitude and interest.

Good working condition

Proper sanitation drinking water canteen first aid rest pauses and mechanization can help to reduce absenteeism by making work environment pleasant.

Housing and Transport facilities

Provision of housing accommodation preferably neat the factory and bus facility will ensure regular attendance of workers.

Safety programmes

Adequate safety measures help to minimize industrial accidents and reduce fear of injury among employees. As a result attendance becomes improved.


Special bonus cash prizes and preference in promotion to regular employees encourage workers to be regular in their attendance.

Effective supervision

Supervisors can considerably reduce absenteeism by earning the confidence and commitment of workers.

Disciplinary Action

Suitable action should be taken against chronic absentees. Punitive action may be in the form of publishing their names in company house magazines fines withholding pay increatment denial of promotion suspension dismissal etc.

Regular leave provision

A provision should be made wherein every worker can avail a few days of leave during a year. Holidays with pay will enable a worker to attend to his private affairs.

Employee counseling

Guidance and counseling help employees to eliminate bad habits like drinking and gambling. Habitual absentees can be persuaded become regulate by impressing upon them the loss arising to them due to absenteeism. Education and training can be used to develop a sense of responsibility.

proper records

Detailed and update records of absenteeism should be maintained. Absenteeism above the predetermined level should be carefully analyzed age wise sex month wise and other bases.

Organizational behaviour theory

Completion of this task, reflect In general relates to everyday practice.

Orgaianisation behaviour is used big or small firms. It is practices used theories. All theories of organization behaviour are very use full. First of all I describe the motivation theory is helpful to the management to solve the problem of absenteeism. The effect of absenteeism in the entire world in daily normal work. In this case the production of the firms goes down. If manager apply the motivation theory then they get positive result. The management understands the employee’s behaviour. They are motivating all employees. In Maslow’s Hierarchy needs theory is very important because management knows that the problem of employees that they are absent. Management complete or fulfill the basic needs of employees. In equity theory the manager checks the employer and if they are in dribble or not good performs and absenteeism are increasing the management change work and reduce performance efforts. One more thing they change the people who are used for comparison and less motivated. Expectancy theory is useful full for manager because it helps the manager to understand the employee behaviour. In organization must be used reward system because all employee work hard and good performance in organization. Reward system is good tool to reduce the absenteeism. In organization have positive punishment which is reduce the absenteeism. In organization behaviour locus of control is very important. Locus of control is basically believed of management or employers. Some workers are believes in internal or some of them externals. So management understands the employee believes and solves the problem which employee is faced in organization. Organization achieve target when they gets the interest of employee and known about employee values, emotions, desires, work behaviour, action and higher performance. If organization give specific goals of employee then it will depends of these factor. All firms have two types of management or employee divided in two categories are X and Y. In all organization have five stags. If organization is going good and all employees are motivated and give good result. If organization is going down then employee are absent or other effect occurred. Organization needs to commute the employee they makes a record of all employees and updated. Management makes a regular scheduled of employee. They provided good working condition as like fresh drinking water, clear and nice canteen and provide work environment pleasant. In organization arrange proper safety of employee. Make a disciplinary program. In case study workplace practice shows that the mind of people is working different fundamentally from the ways of organization theory. Firms that work in manuals training programs that describe the job descriptions. Organization theories are reply on the latter in their attempts to understand and improve work practice. It is conclusions to different method of learning of theories that descriptions of jobs. It is possible to reconceived of and redesign organizations to improve. In modern age all organizations used theories daily based that’s way they give a good result. Any organizational which they used OB basic theories that will be successful result. All theories are important for organizational and they used everyday in practice.

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