Outcomes of Absence Control Initiatives: A Quasi-Experimental Investigation Into the Effects of Policy and Perceptions

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Department or Administrative Unit


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Although considerable research has examined various antecedents of employee absence, relatively little research has examined the effects of organizational absence control initiatives on different types of absence, or how differences in employee perceptions of these initiatives may influence employee absences. Through the lens of organizational justice, the authors address this gap in the literature by tracking absenteeism in two manufacturing plants that implemented, at different times, absence control initiatives designed to increase the salience of absence outcomes via explicit rewards and punishments. Results showed that the policy changes had the intended effect of reducing casual absence, but also the unintended effect of increasing Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence. The results for disability-based absence were mixed. Individual employee perceptions of both the salience of absence outcomes and the fairness of the absence policies showed differential effects on casual and FMLA absence. These perceptions interacted such that employees who perceived the policies to be more salient and unfair had the highest instances of FMLA absence. Implications for absence and justice research and practice are discussed. 1075 Corresponding


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Journal of Management


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