The Impact of Employee Voice and Compliance Mechanisms on Absenteeism, Discipline, and Turnover

Alexander J.S. Colvin, Penn State University
Rosemary Batt, Cornell University
Jeffrey Keefe, Rutgers University

Suggested Citation
Colvin, A. J. S., Batt, R., & Keefe, J. (2005). The impact of employee voice and compliance mechanisms on absenteeism, discipline, and turnover (CAHRS Working Paper #05-13). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.

http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cahrswp/281/

Abstract

This study examines the impact of employee voice and compliance mechanisms on voluntary turnover and other workplace behaviors. Results from analysis of a unique, nationally representative sample of establishments in the telecommunications industry show that voice mechanisms in the form of unions and problem-solving groups are associated with significantly reduced quit rates and dismissal rates. In addition, voice mechanisms in the form of self-directed work teams are associated with lower absenteeism and discipline rates. By contrast, compliance mechanisms in the form of electronic monitoring are associated with higher discipline rates, while the compliance mechanism of strict work rules is associated with both higher quit rates and higher dismissal rates, but lower absenteeism rates. Dismissal rates also partly mediate the relationship between employee voice and compliance mechanisms and quit rates.