Sickness Presenteeism, Sickness Absenteeism, and Health Following Restructuring in a Public Service Organization

16 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2007

See all articles by Natasha Caverley

Natasha Caverley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

J. Barton Cunningham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James N. MacGregor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between sickness presenteeism, sickness absenteeism, organizational outcomes and employee health. In particular, we wanted to investigate to what degree employees were substituting sickness presence for sickness absence. Three hypotheses were tested to formalize this substitution proposition. We surveyed a Canadian public service organization which was involved in a large scale downsizing initiative. For this study, 237 Personnel Corporation (pseudonym used) employees responded to the survey, representing a 66 per cent response rate. Survey results indicated that, while the workforce was of average health, sickness absenteeism was less than half that of the national average. The difference could be accounted for by sickness presenteeism the average number of days employees attended work while ill or injured was greater than the number of days of sickness absence. The pattern of results supported the notion that employees were substituting presenteeism for absenteeism. The frequency and type of self-reported health problems were highly similar for presenteeism and absenteeism. Work factors (e.g. job security, supervisor support and job satisfaction) tested were significantly correlated with presenteeism. Presenteeism appears to be a stronger predictor of health than absenteeism, suggesting that efforts to improve workplace health may have a more immediate impact on presenteeism than on absenteeism.

Suggested Citation

Caverley, Natasha and Cunningham, J. Barton and MacGregor, James N., Sickness Presenteeism, Sickness Absenteeism, and Health Following Restructuring in a Public Service Organization. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 304-319, March 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962206 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2007.00690.x

Natasha Caverley (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

J. Barton Cunningham

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

James N. MacGregor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
1,651
PlumX Metrics