Effect of employees' perceptions of their managers' leadership styles on the level of sickness presenteeism in the workplace: A cross sectional, quantitative study

by Ekpenyong, Ime E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 111 pages; 3599285


Sickness presenteeism refers to decreased productivity caused by employees who make the decision to go to work sick as opposed to staying away from work to recuperate. The purpose of this quantitative correlational research study was to explore the relationship between employees' perceptions of their respective managers' leadership style, and the level of sickness presenteeism in the workplace. The research organization was an employer group with 14,621 employees. A random sample of 3,248 employees received the survey instrument using an online survey tool, and 201 responses were eligible for the data analysis. Sickness presenteeism was measured using the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ), while leadership styles was measured using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). Results of the study indicated that a positive relationship existed between the transformational style of leadership and two of the scales of the work limitations questionnaire: mental/interpersonal and output demands, implying that managers who possess a transformational style of leadership could help reduce productivity losses associated with sickness presenteeism. The results also indicated an inverse relationship between passive/avoidant style of leadership and sickness presenteeism, implying that a passive/avoidant style of leadership could increase productivity losses associated with sickness presenteeism. The study showed that the perceived transformational leadership mean scores were less than the national norm for employer groups, while the perceived transactional and passive/avoidant mean scores were above the norm. Relative to the level of presenteeism, the mean scores of the four components of the WLQ produced a productivity loss score of 3.51%, which represents the percent of productivity loss for the reporting period in comparison to a benchmark that consist of healthy employees that produced a productivity loss score of 0%. The results demonstrate the need for organizations to dedicate resources designed to help increase awareness of the consequences of sickness presenteeism, with strong emphasis on management training. Most importantly, leaders need to understand the characteristics of the different styles of leadership, and how certain styles can be more effective in decreasing the level of presenteeism in their respective organizations. This research focused solely on the employees' perspective, further research including the leaders' perspective is recommended.

AdviserRaj Singh
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organization theory; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3599285

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