Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Withdrawal Behaviors, Absenteeism
Joseph J. Martocchio
Absenteeism (alternatively, absence) is an individual's lack of physical presence at a given location and time when there is a social expectation for that person to be there. An absence is a behavioral outcome or state rather than a behavior itself, because many different actions can make up an absence, such as lying on the beach if at the same time a person is expected to conduct a face-to-face meeting with employees. Moreover, attendance and absence should not be thought of as straightforward opposites. An individual can be absent from many settings simultaneously if groups or individuals from each of those settings have contradicting expectations. In the same way, a person can be in attendance at one location (such as work) while being absent from another (such as home), as long as different social referents generate role conflict about attendance. However, an individual can attend only one setting because attendance ...