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INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS Antecedents of Turnover and Absenteeism: Evidence from Public Sector Institutions of Pakistan
Khurram Shahzad PhD Scholar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management Sciences, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Khansa Hayat Faculty of Management Sciences, Riphah International University, Islamabad

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Muhammad Abbas Lecturer, Faculty of Management Sciences, Riphah International University, Islamabad Sajid Bashir Management Sciences, Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad Kashif-ur-Rehman Associate Professor, Faculty of Management Sciences, Iqra University, Islamabad

Abstract In this study, we examined main factors that determine the turnover intentions and absenteeism in public sector institutions of Pakistan. Data was collected through self administered questionnaires. Results indicate that in public sector, turnover and absenteeism rates largely depends upon job stress, career opportunities and job satisfaction. Turnover and absenteeism can be reduced by implementing new techniques and strategies like providing better career opportunities and enhanced working environment, fairly rewarding employees, appreciating equally and by giving incentives to the hardworking, punctual and attentive employees. Over and above, if turnover and absenteeism ratio is reduced, it encounters a strong psychological affect on the employees as well as to an organization. Keywords: Turnover, Absenteeism, Job Satisfaction, Job Stress, Career Opportunities, Public Sector, Pakistan. 1. Introduction The layman definition of turnover is to leave any current organization or switching over to other organizations due to some reasons. This dilemma is increasing with time and is costly as well (Peterson, 2009). Literature on job satisfaction and absenteeism presents such unsystematic reviews that provide variety of interpretations to be discussed (Scott & Taylor, 1985). Absenteeism is supposed to be occurring when an employee is not present at his/her work when he/she is expected to be at work according to the schedule (Brooke, 1986). Absenteeism depends on both internal and external economic conditions of the organization (Markhan and Mckee, 1991). Muchinsky (1977) concluded that a relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism seems to exist. Employees with
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high rate/level of burnout leave the organization before they critically analyze other aspects and demands of a job (Schaufeli, Bakker, & Rhenen, 2009). Similarly, job stress is one of the highly investigated individual level job outcomes at the workplace (Liu, Spector, & Shi, 2007). Hendrix, Spencer and Gibson (1994) stated that women are facing more work stress as compared to men. It is not a comparison of men and women work stress but it depicts that due to a number of working women organizations may be facing a high rate of absenteeism and turnover. Absenteeism and stress both affect each other. Stress is a cause of absenteeism and absenteeism is a cause of stress (Hendrix, Spencer & Gibson, 1994). So absenteeism can be reduced by handling stress properly. Job stress threatens the physical and mental wellbeing of an individual, which in the long-run causes turnover & absenteeism. Giga, Hoel, and Cooper (2003) concluded that high rates of mergers, acquisitions, growing economic interdependence among countries, due to many reasons, have changed the organizational lifestyle that has resulted in time pressure, excessive work demands, role conflicts, ergonomic insufficiencies and problematic customer relationship all of which cause stress. Job security provides a high level of satisfaction to employees. But many researchers proved that in some cases complete job security causes a high rate of turn over and absenteeism. Employees adopt turnover to seek better opportunities that are offered by other companies including growth opportunities by providing a challenging job (Walsh & Taylor, 2007). Well structured rewards are helpful in bringing down the level of absenteeism (Camp & Lambart, 2006). Female employees absenteeism is related with generalized views so they face barrier in organizations (Patton & Johns, 2007). Turnover decreases when there are satisfactory working terms with peers because there is negative relationship between turnover and satisfaction with coworkers (Golden, 2007). Although, there is a considerable amount of research conducted on absenteeism and turnover in developed countries, however, less attention has been paid to this issue. There is some research on this issue but not enough to determine the actual factors that actually cause absenteeism and turnover. Job dissatisfaction is one of most important determinant of turnover and absenteeism. Korunka, Hoonakker, and Carayon (2008) found strong correlation between emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction and turnover intention. Pakistan is a developing country and public sector of Pakistan is facing high rate of turnover and absenteeism which causes inefficiency in this sector. After reviewing the relevant literature we found that research in this area is very rare especially in public sector. Hence, this research attempts to fill the gap by studying this phenomenon in public sector. As public sector institutions provide better facilities and better job security, medical and housing facilities to the employees but instead of all these facts, turnover rate is increasing due to many reasons like less career opportunities and job dissatisfaction. This research will try to find the determinants of the turnover and absenteeism in public sector. This research would be helpful in developing such strategies that would be useful in reduction of absenteeism and turnover rate in public sector institutions of Pakistan.

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2. Literature Review 2.1 Turnover According to Price and Mueller (1981) turnover can be named as voluntary leaving. When employee leaves a job or switches over to another organization with his/her own choice this situation is considered as turnover. Employees who experience a fair system, where they are correctly rewarded on their efforts and hard work are in a situation where they have less intention to leave the organization (Korunka et al., 2008). Turnover depends on healthy working environment (OBrien-Pallas et al., 2006), healthy environment means clean and workable atmosphere, where employees feel themselves comfortable and easy to work. This environment affects employees in such a way that they work with interest so turnover will be less. QWL (quality of working life) has been found to be a key predictor for turnover intention and turnover decisions by (Korunka et al., 2008). Identification of an area where deficiency lies is most important. If organization is successful in identifying such areas where actual problem exists and where there is a need of improvement, then turnover can be reduced by overcoming this problem. 2.2 Absenteeism During finding out the cases of absenteeism and turnover, 55 percent cases were due to job dissatisfaction (Lee, Mitchell, Wise, & Fireman, 1996). Employees remain absent when they are not satisfied with their job. Short term absenteeism can be reduced by applying penalty on employees (Chaudhury and Ng, 1992). If employees are punished for their absenteeism without any genuine reason then absenteeism can be reduced. Absenteeism is found to be less among such employees, who are not permanent in the organization (Wilson and Peel, 1991). It is a reality that temporary employees are more motivated and they have less absenteeism as they expect to be permanent for being regular. There is a weak relationship that exits between pension and absenteeism but its a positive relationship (Allen, 1981), if pension is related to absenteeism to some extent then there is a relationship between pension and absenteeism. There is a negative relationship between absenteeism and wages (Allen, 1981); employees will avoid absenteeism when it depends on wages, it means if an employee is absent from his or her job so his/her wages will be cut down. Firm must be aware of the type of absenteeism it is facing (Chaudhury and Ng, 1992). 2.3 Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction is multifaceted construct and an attitude that employees have about their own jobs and the organizations in which they perform their jobs tasks and duties (Mosadeghrad, Ferlie, & Rosenberg, 2008). Job is more satisfying when the employees are committed to their work. Job commitment has a positive effect on job satisfaction. When job commitment increases job satisfaction also increase as employees commitment with the job has a long term relationship with job satisfaction, evidence provided by Judkins and Rind (2005). Job satisfaction is strongly correlated with turnover intention, greater the employees job satisfaction, the lesser would be their turnover intention (Mosadeghrad et al., 2008).

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Increment in job satisfaction is an important factor that helps in reduction of turnover and absenteeism, but before doing this; the responsible person must be aware of the factors that influence job satisfaction (Lembert, Hogan and Barton, 2002). When employees are not treated and rewarded equally, they become dissatisfied with their jobs. To achieve a high level of job satisfaction, organizations should treat all the deserving employees equally. As it is human nature that they perform well when their effort is recognized. As Alqashan and Alzubi (2009) stated that unequal treatment and recognition issue is a cause of employees dissatisfaction. Job satisfaction has a close relationship with the quality of life (Tsang & Wong, 2005). Income level is one of the most important factors that affect job satisfaction (Sur et al., 2004). There is a strong relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism (Trevor, 2001). Job satisfaction is effected by two factors one is individual (intrinsic) and other is organizational (extrinsic) factors (Castle, 2008). An employee might be feeling dissatisfied with the job due to both factors. Organizational factors include; working environment, relationship with peers, work stress etc. while individual factors include; work family conflicts, flexible working hours etc. So while finding out the determinants of job satisfaction both of these should be kept in mind. Information about the organization plays an important role in job satisfaction (Addae & Parboteeah, 2006). Job insecurity negatively affects job satisfaction (Chirumbolo & Hellgren, 2003). When employees are not in a state where the job security is ensured to them then it would have a negative impact on job satisfaction. Job security is an important determinant of job satisfaction. If the company involves the employees in policy making and policies are possibly in favor of employees then turn over will be reduced and there would be satisfaction among the employees. There is a strong relationship between working environment and job satisfaction (Sahibzada, Hammer, Neal and Kuang, 2005). Employees working in public sector organizations have a high level of job satisfaction as they are satisfying their needs and desires, as the environment is less compatible so employees do not go for turnover (Bright, 2008). Proper supervision and appropriate working conditions lead to a high level of job satisfaction (Koustelios & Tsigilis, 2005). If employees are provided proper supervision and their working conditions are satisfactory then job satisfaction will be increased. When employees are highly motivated, their level of job satisfaction is also high (Demmer, 2002). Job satisfaction is related with task satisfaction if an employee is satisfied with his/her task then he/she is also found to be satisfied with the job (Mason and Griffin, 2002). Satisfaction has a strong relationship with organizational commitment (Lambert, 2004). While observing the cases of absenteeism and turnover, 55 percent were due to job dissatisfaction (Lee et al., 1996). Employees with low satisfaction with their jobs are more probable to quit their jobs (Tet & Meyer, 2010). Employees having a low level of job satisfaction are expected to leave their jobs within a year (Castle, Engber and Anderson, 2007). If level of job satisfaction is increased turnover is likely to reduce (Castle, Engber and Anderson, 2007). Employees with low level of inherent job satisfaction and compensation (reward etc) are less likely to switch to another job (Tang, Kim and Tang, 2000).

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H-1: There is a negative relationship between job satisfaction and Turnover. H-2: There is a negative relationship between job satisfaction and Absenteeism.

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2.4 Job Stress Employees with single parent families are facing more stress (Hendrix, Spencer and Gibson, 1994). Sager (1994) found positive relationship between job stress and quitting intentions. An employee can be facilitated by providing him some breaks or leisure time in order to prevent turnover. Stress is not a reliable predictor of turnover and absenteeism (Steel and Rentsch, 1995). Good relationship among employees and professional working environment provides less job stress and a high level of job satisfaction (Paoline, Lambert and Hogan, 2006). If a professional approach is implemented in the organization, employees will find it easy to handle the job stress and as a result they will be satisfied with their jobs. If an employee is not satisfied with his job, he might be facing a high level of job stress so to increase job satisfaction, reduction of job stress is a must. Some employees are facing high level of stress due to dual role and work overload and in this situation they opt for turnover (Hendrix, Spencer and Gibson, 1994). Job stress is a condition which negatively affects the employees and their work (Lambert, Hogan and Griffin, 2008). When an employee is clear about the characteristics of his/her job, it would be helpful in increasing job satisfaction and reducing job stress. If the working environment of an organization is not satisfactory then they would prefer to switch over to another job or they will start being absent from the work, it would eventually affect the productivity of organization. It may be evident by the presence of headache, sleep disturbances, difficulty in concentration. Hendrix, Spencer and Gibson (1994) stated that, women are facing more work stress as compared to men. It is a fact that a woman has to work hard at home as she has many duties at home and if she is working outside the home means she is doing job so she has to face double stress. Organizations that provide medical benefits to their employees are less likely to face job stress and this can be seen from the efficiency and productivity of the organization. Employees having financial dissatisfaction are likely to face stress at work (Kim and Garman, 2004). When employees are financially satisfied they will be living a good family life and in this way employees can avoid work family conflicts, it will result in a reduced job stress. Employees working in private organizations face high level of work stress as compared to employees working in government organizations (Tankha, 2006). Work to family conflict results in job dissatisfaction, turnover and job stress, where as family to work conflicts are a major cause of stress and absenteeism (Anderson, Coffey and Byerly, 2002). If the work of employee is a barrier for his family life then it would result in job dissatisfaction and if family life and responsibilities is the barrier then it will cause job stress. The job and role of the employee must be very clearly defined because if there are conflicts then it would cause job stress and absenteeism. Job related stress (like ambiguity and work pressure) and less career opportunity causes the work exhaustion which indirectly causes turnover intension and job dissatisfaction (Kim and Wright, 2007). H-3: There is a positive relationship between Job Stress and Turnover. H-4: There is a positive relationship between Job Stress and Absenteeism.
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2.5 Career Opportunities Career opportunities are a great motivator for the employees so to reduce turnover career opportunities should be there in the organizations. Career prospects have a direct impact on job satisfaction and turnover (Anderson, Coffey and Byerly 2002). Career is a major concern of employees so opportunities play an important role in job satisfaction and turnover. Transparent procedures of selection and promotion provide equal opportunities of promotion and career development to the employees (Rosenblatt and Shirom 2006). Employees adopt turnover to seek better opportunities that are offered by other companies, it includes growth opportunities by providing a challenging job (Walsh and Taylor, 2007). This reference supports the argument that some employees are motivated if they are provided with some challenging job so employee turnover and absenteeism can be reduced by providing them their desired challenging jobs. It is clear now that better career opportunities in other organizations result in employee turnover (Griffeth, Hom and Gaertner, 2000). H-5: There is a negative relationship between Career Opportunities and Turnover H-6: There is a negative relationship between Career Opportunities and Absenteeism [Insert Figure 1] 3. Methodology The data that has been used in this study is collected through questionnaires; the questionnaires were distributed among the employees of public sector institutions of Pakistan, it included four large organizations of public sector in Rawalpindi and Islamabad i.e. Capital Development Authority, WAPDA, Water Management Wing, Directorate of Education and National Highway Authority. The correlation and regression analysis of the data is done in order to find out the actual determinants of turnover and absenteeism in public sector organizations of Pakistan and the data of this study is analyzed on SPSS. The sample of our data consists of 200 employees of managerial level, functional level and other designations and ranks. 3.1 Measures All variables were tapped using self reported measures. We gathered responses for all variables using 5-point scales ranging from 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = neither disagree/nor agree, 4 = Agree, to 5 = strongly agree. In such way, higher responses obtained against a variable represented higher level of the construct. Job Satisfaction: A 6-item version (Agho, Price, & Mueller, 1992) was used to measure overall job satisfaction. Example include I find real enjoyment in my work Job Stress: The shortened version of Job Stress developed by Jamal and Baba (1992) was used to measure job stress. The example items include I have too much work and too little time to do it. Career Opportunities: to measure career opportunities, the 3-item scale by Tessema & Soeters (2006) was used. Turnover Intentions: A 3-item scale (Vigoda, 2000) was used to measure intention to leave. Examples include Lately, I have taken interest in job offers in the newspaper.
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Absenteeism: The data for absenteeism for each participant in this sample was gathered from HR departments. Specifically, we asked the respective HR departments to provide the number of scheduled work days missed by each respondent for the last 3 months. 4. Results & Discussion Inter-correlation among all study variables are shown in Table 1. Correlation analysis indicates that there is a significant negative relationship between job satisfaction and turnover (r = -.32, p < .001); and absenteeism (r = -.20, p < .01) respectively. Job stress was not significantly related to turnover (r = .11, n.s) but it was positively related to absenteeism (r = .19, p < .01). Similarly, career opportunity had a significant negative relationship with turnover (r = -.29, p < .001), but it was not related to absenteeism (r = .09, n.s). [Insert Table 1] Further, we conducted multiple regression analysis to test hypotheses 1 to 6. The regression analysis results for turnover are presented in Table 2, and those for absenteeism are presented in Table 3. Table 2 shows that job satisfaction and career opportunities significantly predicted turnover (B = -.25, p <.003) and (B = -.20, p <.01) respectively. In addition, these variables accounted for 14%.variance in turnover. Consistent with our hypotheses, job satisfaction and career opportunities had a significant negative effect on turnover. Employees, who were high on job satisfaction and career opportunities, had lower turnover intentions. In contrast, employees with low job satisfaction and low career opportunities had higher intentions of turnover. However, we did not find support for hypothesis 3. Our results showed that job stress had no significant effect on employee turnover (B = .05, n.s). [Insert table 2] Similarly, Table 3 shows the regression analysis results for absenteeism. The results reveal that job satisfaction and job stress significantly predicted employee absenteeism (B = -.18, p <.03) and (B = .17, p <.03) respectively. In addition, these variables accounted for 7%.variance in absenteeism. Consistent with our hypotheses, job satisfaction had a significant negative effect on turnover and job stress had a significant positive effect on absenteeism. Employees, who were high on job satisfaction, had low absentees. In addition, employees with high job stress were more prone to workplace absenteeism. Our results, however, did not provide support for hypothesis 6, whereby career opportunities did not predict absenteeism (B =- .01, n.s). [Insert table 3] 5. Conclusion Today's workforce is experiencing high job stress, lowered job satisfaction, increased absenteeism, and turnover rates in a contagion magnitude. Due to extra and intra organizational stressors, workers at all levels feel anxious, unconfident, misunderstood, and undervalued at their workplace resulting in a high absenteeism and turnover rates. Hence, the role of better career opportunities, lowered job stress, and higher job satisfaction remains pivotal to sustain and retain valued employees.
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The current study examines the key factors that determine the turnover intentions and absenteeism in public sector institutions of Pakistan. Our results indicate that, in public sector, turnover and absenteeism rates largely depends upon job stress, career opportunities, and job satisfaction. Turnover and absenteeism can be reduced by implementing new techniques and strategies like providing better career opportunities and enhanced working environment, fairly rewarding employees, appreciating equally and by giving incentives to the hardworking, punctual and attentive employees. Over and above, if turnover and absenteeism ratio is reduced, it encounters a strong psychological affect on the employees as well as to an organization.

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Annexure
Job Satisfaction Tu r n o v e r Job Stress Absenteeism Career Opportunities

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Figure 1: Model of the study Table 1: Correlation Analysis


1 1. Turnover 2. Absenteeism 3. Job Satisfaction 4. Job Stress 5.Career Opportunities * P < .01, ** P < .001 -.10 -.32** .11 -.29** --.20* . 19* -.13 --.09 .33** -.16* --2 3 4 5

Table 2: Regression Analysis Turnover


Beta Job Satisfaction Job Stress Career Opportunities N=150 R square=.14; F=8.032; t-value Significant .003 .542 .015 -.25 -3.02 .05 .61 -.20 -2.47 Dependent Variable = Turnover Adjusted R square=.12 Significance=.000

Table 3: Regression Analysis Absenteeism


Job satisfaction Job stress Career opportunities N=150 R square=.069 F=3.601; Beta t Significant -.18 -2.09 .038 .17 2.09 .038 -.01 -.08 .938 Dependent Variable = Absenteeism Adjusted R square=.050 Significance=.015

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