• Journal Article

Decision latitude and workload demand: Implications for full and partial absenteeism

Citation

Zavala, S. K., French, M. T., Zarkin, G. A., & Omachonu, V. K. (2002). Decision latitude and workload demand: Implications for full and partial absenteeism. Journal of Public Health Policy, 23(3), 344-361.

Abstract

This research examined the relative importance of two components of job stress--decision latitude and workload demand--on employee absenteeism. The analysis was based on confidential self-reported data from employees at two worksites, which were collected in three independent cross-sections beginning in 1995. The negative binomial technique was used to estimate the effects of decision latitude and workload demand on employee attendance, while controlling for employee demographics and other workplace characteristics. Estimation results show that high decision latitude was negatively and significantly related to number of full days absent from work (full absenteeism) and number of days arriving late to work or leaving work early (partial absenteeism). Conversely, the coefficient estimates for low decision latitude were positive in every model and significantly related to partial absenteeism. Low workload demand was negatively and significantly related to partial absenteeism, but not full days absent. The interaction effects of decision latitude and workload demand on absenteeism were not statistically significant. Several recent studies have estimated a significant relationship between decision latitude, workload demand, and medical problems such as cardiovascular disease. The current findings suggest that decision latitude and workload demand are also related to workplace attendance. Employers and occupational hygienists should consider decision latitude and workload demand as a means to improve workplace productivity and employee health.