Publication Date

July 2008


[Excerpt] Group attitudes about satisfaction and commitment are negatively associated with absenteeism and interact in predicting absenteeism at the unit level. The effects are particularly strong in areas where jobs are plentiful but fade away where jobs are scarce. In other words, higher levels of absenteeism in a work group are associated with lower levels of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in labor markets with low unemployment, and vice versa. Organizational commitment is the crucial factor: absenteeism is higher in work units with low levels of commitment regardless of the level of satisfaction. Group norms about absenteeism and other contextual factors, such as work processes, contribute to the variance among work units. Satisfaction and commitment are not related to changes in absenteeism over time.


Suggested Citation
Hausknecht, J. P., Hiller, N. J., & Vance, R. J. (2008). Deconstructing absenteeism: Satisfaction, commitment, and unemployment (Impact Brief #30). Ithaca, NY: School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University.

For a more in-depth analysis, please see: Hausknecht, J. P., Hiller, N. J., & Vance, R. J. (in press). Work unit absenteeism: Effects of satisfaction, commitment, labor market conditions, and time. Academy of Management Journal.

The ILR Impact Brief series highlights the research and project based work conducted by ILR faculty that is relevant to workplace issues and public policy. The Briefs are prepared by Maralyn Edid, Senior Extension Associate, ILR School.

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright by Cornell University.