A reevaluation of the absenteeism-job satisfaction relationship
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Previous reviews of the relationship of employee absenteeism to job satisfaction have largely neglected the size of the relationships reported and the artifacts that can affect statistical tests of significance. This paper applies the F. L. Schmidt-J. E. Hunter (1977, Journal of Applied Psychology, 62, 529-540) model of validity generalization in assessing the nature and strength of the relationship of absence to attitudes. Issues concerning the reliability and validity of absence measures are addressed, correlations between absence and job satisfaction are compiled and summarized, and an agenda for future research is set out. Considering the reliability estimates reported for the Frequency, Attitudinal, and Time Lost indices, the Time Lost Index was found to be the most reliable (r xx = .66, SD = .28). Factor analyses of intercorrelations among absence measures provided tentative support for a voluntary-involuntary absenteeism distinction. Combining all measures of satisfaction and all measures of absences, the mean correlation between absence and attitudes is -.09 (SD = .13). In addition to more comprehensive theory-guided multivariate research, future studies should aim toward a reconceptualization of absenteeism as a construct to take into consideration the perceptions of the workers themselves.
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