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ABSENCE BEHAVIOUR AND ATTENDANCE MOTIVATION: A CONCEPTUAL SYNTHESIS

Authors

  • Nigel Nicholson


Abstract

The paper proposes a new model and associated methodology for the analysis and prediction of employee absence. The first part of the paper briefly reviews theoretical writings on the topic and concludes that a radically different orientation is needed for any useful integration to be achieved from the fragmented insights to be found in these works. A first step toward the building of such an integrated theory is a consideration of what are the requirements for an adequate theory of absence. To discover this, the nature of absence is explored in a conceptual analysis, leading into a consideration of methodological and measurement problems. The‘A-B Continuum’is proposed as an answer to these problems, characterizing absence-inducing events in terms of their avoidability. It is suggested that the impact of these events varies from person to person, and that this variation is due to the mediating influence of attendance motivation. The construct of‘attachment’is introduced as a means of measuring attendance motivation, and its main constituents are specified. The final section of the paper attempts to show how the full model may be used to explain and predict individual differences in attendance behaviour.

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