A Cross-Level Examination of Group Absence Influences on Individual Absence

  • Mathieu J
  • Kohler S
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Abstract

In this study a cross-level design was applied to examine the influence of contextual factors on individuals' absence behavior. It was hypothesized that the average group-level absence would significantly predict subsequent individual absence beyond that accounted for by previous individual absence, affective reactions (i.e., job involvement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment) and employee demographics (i.e., sex, race, age, and seniority). Absence was differentiated into both frequency and time-lost metrics. Results supported a group-level effect for the individual absence time-lost metric although not for the frequency metric. Two explanations for the discrepant results are offered, one based on the company's absence control policy, the second in terms of differential range restriction. The findings are discussed in terms of the potential effectiveness of group-level interventions, as well as other issues concerning social/organizational influences on individual absenteeism. Directions for future research focused on cross-level influences are offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • John E. Mathieu

  • Stacey S. Kohler

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