CHAPTER 5Sickness Presenteeism and Attendance Pressure Factors: Implications for Practice

Caroline Biron

Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University, UK


Per Øystein Saksvik

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway

Failure to report for work as scheduled, or absenteeism, has been a research topic since the 1920s (Johns, 2008b). Scholars from various fields have been interested in identifying the causes for this behaviour and its organizational and individual consequences. Absenteeism as a behavioural pattern has been studied by scholars from multiple disciplines such as sociology, economics, law, psychology, industrial relations and medicine (Johns, 2008a). More recently, sickness presenteeism has become an increasingly popular theme. The term was first coined by Cary Cooper in the 1990s to describe the growing propensity of workers who spent long hours in the workplace when they feared for their job (Chapman, 2005). Since then, many other definitions of sickness presenteeism have been developed and the term has been used inconsistently in the scientific literature. Although, the term seems to be increasingly popular, the concept is used in various ways and etiological knowledge is still scarce. In the present chapter, we review the literature to explore how the term has been used, its consequences, and the determinants which have been found to influence it. The implications for health promotion and occupational health programmes are ...

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