Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This thesis investigates the considerations which enter into employees' absence/attendance choices, in order to develop an empirically inspired, scientific model to help managers understand and influence these choices. A four step method, based upon Glaser and Strauss' "Comparative Analysis", is used to inductively generate and deductively test this "universal" model of the logical structure of absence/attendance choice, in conformity with Popper's principles of scientific method.;On the basis of the cases analysed, the model specifies three major decision criteria, the conditions under which each criterion is applied and the criterion values which produce the intention to be absent or the intention to attend work. Subsidiary models summarize the determinants of criterion values in the analyses cases. A final chapter discusses the implications of these findings for attendance management.;The models draw attention to the discretion employees can often exercise over the: (1) occurrence of events which may initiate choice-making (2) the occurrence of an absence (3) its timing (4) its duration and (5) its impact. They also reveal the importance of strategic and deontological aspects of absence/attendance choice-making, hitherto neglected by research, which require skillful management, and favor a broad-based management approach which emphasizes performance, problem-solving, conflict resolution and flexibility.;The models also provide new insights into earlier theoretical models, including Steers and Rhode's Process Model of Employee Attendance; Fishbein's Model of Intention Formation; Adam's Equity Theory of Motivation; Expectancy-Valence Theory and the Satisfaction-absenteeism, Commitment-absenteeism and Events-absence hypotheses, amongst others, as well as into various common attendance management assumptions and practices, which are consistent with these earlier theoretical models.



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