Aversive Workplace Conditions and Absenteeism: Taking Referent Group Norms and Supervisor Support Into Account

Biron, Michal; Bamberger, Peter
July 2012
Journal of Applied Psychology;Jul2012, Vol. 97 Issue 4, p901
Academic Journal
Past research reveals inconsistent findings regarding the association between aversive workplace conditions and absenteeism, suggesting that other, contextual factors may play a role in this association. Extending contemporary models of absence, we draw from the social identity theory of attitude-behavior relations to examine how peer absence-related norms and leader support combine to explain the effect of aversive workplace conditions on absenteeism. Using a prospective design and a random sample of transit workers, we obtained results indicating that perceived job hazards and exposure to critical incidents are positively related to subsequent absenteeism, but only under conditions of more permissive peer absence norms. Moreover, this positive impact of peer norms on absenteeism is amplified among employees perceiving their supervisor to be less supportive and is attenuated to the point of nonsignificance among those viewing their supervisor as more supportive.


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