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'Choosing' to work when sick: workplace presenteeism

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Author Info

  • Dew, Kevin
  • Keefe, Vera
  • Small, Keitha
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    Abstract

    Presenteeism is a concept used to describe the phenomenon of working through illness and injury. This paper is based on interviews and focus groups undertaken at three different work sites in New Zealand: a small private hospital, a large public hospital and a small factory. The research suggests that presenteeism is a prominent phenomenon in the lives of workers at these different sites, but the way in which it is rationalised and the factors that foster presenteeism are quite distinct. Exploring the way in which presenteeism links to economic and social constraints and workplace cultures provides insights into these rationalisations. The powerful forces promoting presenteeism tempers the research community's concern with absenteeism. A presenteeism discourse needs to be more prominently articulated to oppose both the absenteeism discourse, and to moderate the views taken by some postmodernist theorists on choice in relation to health practices in workplace settings.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-4DYW4NW-4/2/b514034335d6742f6b975b1565c10715
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 60 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 10 (May)
    Pages: 2273-2282

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:10:p:2273-2282

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

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    Related research

    Keywords: Presenteeism Absenteeism Sickness absence Occupational health New Zealand;

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    Cited by:
    1. Konstantinos, Pouliakas & Ioannis, Theodossiou, 2010. "An Inquiry Into the Theory, Causes and Consequences of Monitoring Indicators of Health and Safety At Work," MPRA Paper 20336, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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