THE EFFECT OF ABSENTEEISM ON COMPANY'S PRODUCTIVITY: CHAPTER 1-3
Category : Shipbuilding Industry, Thesis Paper Samples
Chapter 1: Introduction
Background of the study
No account of the imperial system would be complete without some discussion of maritime activity. Voyages of discovery played a crucial role in the foundation of the Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Dutch empires, whilst a combination of the search for a northern passage to the Orient and organized piracy created the early momentum for the British Empire. Before the Industrial Revolution the maritime sector was instrumental in developing a consumer society in Europe, based on the conspicuous consumption of imported luxuries, whilst later on during the years of the scramble for Africa, for example It brought the raw materials to feed the heavy industries of Europe (Cohen & O’Connor 2004). Instead of having a few shipping companies with substantial fleets, each ship was typically organized as a separate company in order to control the financial risks involved. It neutralized the domino effect which the loss of one ship could have on the finances of other ships in the owners' fleet. Ships have always been amongst the largest, most indivisible, and most risky assets in which people can invest. Merchant ships are floating containers, and economies of scale encourage them to be built as large as possible compatible with access to port facilities. Financial risks are great not only because of the risks of loss at sea, but because charter rates are highly volatile on account of the durable nature of the fleet and sensitivity of international trade to the state of business confidence, particularly where raw material shipments are concerned (Schröter & Wilkins, 1998).
With many small shipping companies, each owning a single vessel, it became quite common for the owners of a ship to vest the management of it with an agent. The agent, for example, could arrange to charter out the ship on their behalf. The agent would be rewarded by some combination of salary and commission. The agent had to enjoy a good reputation for competence and integrity, however, because he personally carried only a very small proportion of the financial risks associated with the vessel's operations (Jamieson & Starkey 1998). To make efficient use of a specialized ship agent's time, it was necessary for an agent to manage several ships. This, of course, allowed agents to accumulate enormous expertise. To capitalize on this, to exploit the economies of scope afforded by their general knowledge of the shipping trade-they could take on junior partners to expand their agency. This provided an inducement for reputable agents to promote the building of ships, incorporating a new company for each additional ship, and inviting wealthy speculators to subscribe equity. The intelligence gathered by the captains of these ships would inform the managing agents of business opportunities overseas. Individual shipping routes tended to be highly competitive because, unless they were controlled by a charter monopoly that was effectively policed, vessels could easily be switched onto routes where existing operators were enjoying profits higher than elsewhere. Vertical integration into the procurement of export cargoes made little sense, therefore, when the arrival of ships to collect the cargoes could not be accurately predicted, where the export products were difficult to store. It was far better to ship the exports on the first available ship than to try to coordinate production and sailings within the constraints of using only vessels from a particular owner's fleet (Johnman & Murphy 2002). Shipping companies require their personnel to be productive and efficient. This paper will take a look at how absenteeism affects White star line’s productivity.
Rationale for the Chosen Topic
Presence is valued, held up, invested with power, and so can be said to have a pervasive quality. Presence, it appears, constructs, connects, and holds together. Within this contrived order of things presence is the determining feature of being, subjectivity, ideology, textuality, systems of speech and writing, presentation and representation the list is boundless. Such is the construction of presence, even absence, its taxonomic opposite, is seen as a formation and formulation of it (Ukens 2001). To have presence is also to have the capacity for absence. The force of this relational schema has led to the conceptual figuring of absence and absences only because there is presence, or a register of presence, to begin with. Absence is seen to be derived from a state of presence, as it is seen as the denial of presence. One way of figuring absences outside of this way of thinking is to specify two forms of absence: primary absences and secondary absences. These categories are necessarily broad and cannot be seen as ascribing a complete agenda to the issues. In this sense it is important to acknowledge the flexibility of the concepts to recognise the chains of signification which determine not resolution and meaning, but the interplay of the discourses themselves. Absence can be a status measured against other orders (Fuery 1995).
Something is absent because it is not present, but the significant detail is that the absent something is figured as potentially present, that is, held-in-readiness. The absences are secondary because they establish forms of quasi-presences to fill the gaps, the holes and blanks, the simulacra, complex orders of signs which point and indicate until the absences themselves are denied. Bits of the missing presence are fleshed out, embellished, or signifiers are constructed to provide a presence. All the time these secondary absences are sub forms of a presence because they have a referential system; in doing so they often suggest an originary position. To divide the idea of absence into primary and secondary forms is not to establish distinct types an important feature is that secondary absences provide a connection between the operations of the presence and all forms of absence. Although this does not provide a continuum between pure presence, that is a presentness, and primary absence, it does permit a reading of absence in terms of a relational context of presence, which, in turn, allows the continuation of a primary mode of absence, independent of any sense of presence. The dynamics of primary and secondary absences mean that there are constant qualifying notions of the absent. (Klaas, Mahony & Wheeler 2004). Essentially, primary absences are determining principles and signifying practices in which absence is the defining feature and constant point of reference (Murray & Richardson 2002). The main aim of the study is to evaluate and investigate the performance of employees of White Star Line in accordance to the current efforts of the company towards absenteeism, training and development (Murray & Richardson 2002). This study attempts to review and analyze the effect of absenteeism and type of training provided for the employees. In the recent studies of employee training and employee motivation, human resource is the greatest source of the improvement of a business. Here, it exposes the positive as well as the negative treatment accorded to the employees as a result of an effective/ineffective implementation of an employee training program which also causes absenteeism.
Statement of the Problem
It is the motivational basis of job design that gives the topic its essential identity and focus. Although not every approach to job design deals with motivation, motivation is nevertheless one of the most common outcome variables studied in relation to jobs. Moreover, even perspectives that do not explicitly include motivation often consider performance, satisfaction, effort, and absenteeism, all of which can be linked with motivation. The goal of some approaches has been to learn how to design jobs so as to improve motivation. In other instances, the presumed relationship has been more indirect and the focus has been on improving related phenomena such as job satisfaction or organizational commitment (Brett & Drasgow 2002). Regardless of how it is cloaked, the basic thrust of most job design theory and research has rested on the premise that job design and motivation are linked. The implicit belief that has guided this work has been that the design of jobs can be altered so as to motivate job incumbents to work harder, do higher quality work, do more work, and be more satisfied as a result of having worked. In many organizational settings, absenteeism is often interpreted as an indirect indicator of more serious managerial problems. Quite understandably, many published studies, as well as internal technical reports, describe interventions aimed at managing absenteeism (Greenberg 1994).
Understanding and defining absenteeism in a precise and agreed upon manner, however, often receives only passing attention in these more intervention based studies. Simultaneously occurring with the intervention-based and measurement-oriented studies, there have been efforts at theorizing about absenteeism. Unfortunately, these theoretical efforts have been quite different and do not represent a clear accumulation of knowledge (Vardi & Weitz 2004). Work attitudes, like job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and events, like absenteeism and turnover, develop and occur over time. Employees attitude and performance levels are changed by various thins and situation in the environment. As a result, many scholars have made calls for more longitudinal research aimed at capturing these dynamic processes. These calls, however, tend to be methodologically, as opposed to theoretically, based. Of course, the reverse should hold. The passage of time should be a substantive part of our withdrawal theories. Correspondingly, the duration of measurement for any relevant constructs could then be determined by theory, rather than the researcher's convenience. In some cases, job attitudes and withdrawal behaviors occur smoothly, gradually, and monotonically; in other cases, distinctive stimuli punctuate these occurrences. Any substantive withdrawal theory must deal directly with how these processes unfold over time. Moreover, a theory should address how contexts and employees change over time, with some changes being systematic and others being random (Vardi & Weitz 2004).
From the organization's perspective, if apathetic employees left voluntarily such turnover would be functional, especially if they were replaced by individuals who belonged to the other cells. Concerning absenteeism, apathetic employees were expected to take maximal advantage of any company policy that did not penalize the practice. However, whether their lack of attachment resulted in high rates of absenteeism or turnover depended on the constraints on each behavior, for example, labor market conditions that limited job opportunities (Cohen 2003). Absenteeism is due to varying causes, most of which can be distracting to personnel. If someone is always absent he/she might miss out on things and might have many unfinished activities. The researcher needs to find out the effect of absenteeism to the productivity of White Star Line employees. The researcher wants to find out how absenteeism affects someone’s professional life and his/her participation in work activities. The researcher finds the necessity for a study that specifically tackles the current status of absenteeism practices among employees in White Star Line in UK. Specifically, this study intends to explore the significant impact of the absenteeism, training and motivation approaches provided by the White Star Line in UK. It will present the performance of the White Star Line by identifying weaknesses and inefficiencies and recommending solutions.
Likewise, it is essential to study the existing practices in company development and training that are supposed to contribute to the improvement of the skills of employees and lessening the cases of absenteeism. For this reason the following objectives are formulated:
- To review the existing literature that is available on employee absenteeism, employee motivation, employee training and employee performance.
- To investigate the impact of employee absences in White Star Line’s business performance.
- To analyze the performance of employees of White Star Line and determine if absence changes their performance.
- To determine the usual cause of absence for the White Star line employees and the usual excuse of the employees for their absence.
- To provide recommendation for other shipping companies of similar nature and size to help them build programs that will increase employee performance and lessen absenteeism and therefore productivity.
Outlook of methodology
Methodologies are equipments combined with ideas to acquire information needed in a study. Methodology combines theoretical and practical things to acquire the idea needed for a study (Coles 2006). Determining a methodology requires one to decide well because any error in choosing the methodology would result in the failure of the whole research endeavor. The researcher needs to make sure that the methodology he/she chooses will be based on careful analysis and it will make proper use of decision making skills. In selecting a methodology for a research different things are considered, it includes the time that will be spent for the research, the finances available, the complexity of a theory and the ease of data (Roberts & Yeager 2006). Descriptive approach to research will be used. The descriptive approach to research will be chosen since it entails description of ideas and information, the character of a dataset and the meaning of a data to the study. The descriptive approach focuses on determining how a data can affect validity of a study. The descriptive approach can be used to check some issues and analyze any relation between information which may pertain to independent variables as efficiency, productivity, absenteeism, performance and participation. The descriptive approach will make sure that the researchers will have a proper understanding of how the data acquired is related to the study and its goals. The research will use of surveys in gathering data and surveys belong to quantitative methods thus the study will be based on quantitative principles. This survey intends to be confined only within the White Star Line due to cost and time limitations. Some respondents would be the HRM officials, some would be personnel. Acquired data will be analyzed through descriptive statistics. The information in such method would be best explained by the use of tables and graphs. In analyzing the collected data, the paper will be divided into two parts these are: the response of the officials and the response of the personnel. In each part the demographic information of the respondents will be added. Employees and HRM officials of White Star Line are surveyed to understand the impact of absenteeism to the productivity of the company. If surveying the Employees and HRM officials is possible the survey that they will fill out will be left on the HRM desk where they can fill it out and return it to a drop box in a closed envelope without a name or other identifying information. The questions for the Auditors are created after a thorough review of literature. For documentation that refers to secondary information about employee motivation, training, business performance and absenteeism, such considerations have been taken to reduce concerns as they would otherwise pertain to bias or the reliability and validity of the findings. Documentation specifically includes company reports and records, or books and journal articles discussing employee motivation, training, business performance and absenteeism in White Star Line. To determine the perceptions of the employees and HRM official pertaining to employee motivation, training, business performance and absenteeism in White Star Line, the researcher prepare a set of a questionnaire. A non-threatening questionnaire in nature that can be completed within 30 minutes are considered
Outline of the study
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter one introduced the study. In this chapter the main ideas and the primary objectives were narrated. This chapter featured the background to the research, and narration of what will happen to the study and the purpose and aims of the dissertation.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
The review of literature part will gather information related to the topic: the effect of absenteeism on White Star Line's productivity. Information will come from books and other helpful sources.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
The methodology part will narrate the methods or instruments needed to get the information. The methodology chapter will give an idea of what were used to gather the needed information to complete the study.
Chapter 4: Data Analysis
Chapter four will give the meaning of the acquired data. It will aim to present and then explain the data that has been collected. The fourth chapter intends to sum up the study.
Chapter 5: Future, Limitation, Conclusions and Implications
The fifth chapter will give the conclusion on the effect of absenteeism on White Star Line's productivity as well as its implications. This chapter will highlight the various important findings from this study that would be beneficial for further study and the strategies that can be used to improve the performance and productivity of the workers of White Star Lines. This chapter will highlight the most important benefit of productivity to the firm. Moreover the fifth chapter will provide the limitations to the conducted study.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Productivity and organizations
Productivity is an important part of White Star Line since the more productive a firm is the higher profit rates it will have. Skills that will be the most important for knowledge organizations are those that are associated with the intellect of the individual. Presently, these skills are hard to teach and harder to assess. The challenge that institutions of higher learning worldwide will face will be their ability to equip their pupils with these creativity skills. Those universities around the world that will succeed in devising and revising curricula emphasizing these skills will be able to take over the leadership of the education for the twenty-first century and beyond (Burkett 2006). Employees possessing these creativity skills will enable knowledge organizations to engage in ingenious actions to bring about innovation and productivity. Knowledge organization managers will have to learn the rules and operate by them. In order to evolve a work relationship that will unleash the minds of Generations X and Y for innovation and productivity gains for the organization. The operational measures of productivity, effectivity and quality are subordinate to the results concept. Many working environment studies, intended to show the benefit of measures implemented, report on side issues alone, that is, productivity, effectivity and quality, omitting how profits have been improved through measures taken (Glyn 2006).
One thing that helps in initiating productivity is management development. Management development is concerned with de specialization and with focusing on the generalist role as well as with training in specific management skills. Many programs attempt, in addition to stressing the importance of increasing management competencies, to bring managerial styles into conformance with a desired organizational culture. In most programs one or the other of these is dominant. But in no case can either one be ignored completely. Whether the goal is improved quality, increased productivity, or the integration of individual and group needs, management development can be used in a systematic way to create and shape change in an organization (Barrett 2006). Productivity varies due to differences in production technology, differences in the efficiency of the production process, and differences in the environment in which production occurs. The ability to include efficiency change as a component of productivity change depends on the data one has to work with, and the assumptions one is willing to make. Data can be either a single time series or a panel, and can consist of quantities only or quantities and prices. Assumptions can be strong or weak. With sufficiently strong assumptions it is possible to use a single time series on quantity data only to tell a story about the contribution of efficiency change to productivity change. For employees to be empowered, the company must provide means for employees to participate both at the shop or office floor and at higher levels in the organization. Investment induces productivity growth by installing new technologies and by positive externalities. These common characteristics imply a second important feature (Sawyer 2006).
The long-run growth rate is path-dependent for activities of former generations influence the productivity of present and future capital accumulation. Concerning the technical progress function, this statement manifests itself in the relation between the flow of investment and the technical dynamism of an economy. The more technical dynamism an economy has acquired in the past, the more productivity growth is induced by a given growth rate of investment. The robustness of an economy or a business is a complex function of many variables. Especially important among those variables, however, is the efficiency with which goods and services are produced. When it costs more to produce goods and services domestically than to import them, the balance of trade suffers and the growth of the local economy is slowed. Human factors research aimed at increasing productivity is obviously relevant to this problem. Moreover, productivity can influence standard of living in various ways. When the productivity of one country increases relative to that of others that country's products become more competitive on world markets; increases in worldwide productivity mean more goods and services available generally for the same cost (Stedt 2006). Productivity is one of those words that most people probably believe they understand until they have occasion to try to say precisely what it means. As applied to the production of material goods, productivity is usually expressed as a ratio, for which the numerator is some measure of output or what is produced or the value of same, and the denominator is some measure of input or what is used up in the production process or the cost of same. In theory, the same ratio may pertain when what is produced is a service or other intangible good, but in practice, quantification can be very difficult because of uncertainty about what exactly gets consumed in the production process or about what the product is really worth. Finding ways to increase the productivity of individuals, systems, corporations, or other entities is an appropriate concern for human factors researchers and an objective that the human factors community is in a position to help attain (Gong & Semmler 2006).
Performance and organization
Knowledge management is part of a broader and more integrated effort to manage and develop human capability for business performance. Managers will assess the gaps in their workforce and direct interventions. At the same time, individual workers will have the opportunity to take control of their learning, which, in turn, moves the organization to be able to achieve its goals and objectives (Phillips 2005). Organizations are nothing more than an extension of human thought and action, which makes human capital the only active capital. Financial and physical resources are important, but they cannot be transformed without the lever of human capital. The input of human capital grows in value and is becoming the differentiator for organizations. Therefore, enterprises must recalibrate to see how that input operates and bring it into balance with all of the other elements, including long-term basic strategy, positioning in the market, and the alignment of culture and systems to achieve exceptional outcomes. However, this is not a static situation. There is a power shift. As people begin to be better able to autonomously gather information, achieve mobility, and initiate connectivity, they are redefining the role and value of their human capital. As a result, they are making new demands on management for more satisfying kinds of relationships, working conditions, and compensation (Druskat, Mount, & Sala 2006).
Management has to, in a sense, catch up with its workforce and responds with increasing flexibility to obtain the kinds of capabilities and commitments it needs to succeed. This is a major reversal for management, which is used to being able to dictate the terms of employment. Regardless, it is a necessity. Enterprise leadership must come to know better what human capital it needs, not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the day after. It must understand how to rapidly acquire, compensate, grow, and retain it so that it can positively affect its business performance and operating objectives. The corollary is that it must change its orientation and its basic systems to be at the lead of the knowledge-based enterprise reality (Nicholls 2006). Managing the human capital for continuous learning, sharing, and connecting as human beings; while giving people space to think and rewarding them for their performance and contributions needs to be part of the daily practice of everyone; from leadership to the frontline of the enterprise. If it is an add-on or special program, it will fall significantly short of its promise or fail. An organization may not need perfect values alignment, but it will need values alignment appropriate to its ends. These values must be the authentic values held by the enterprise and its people. Values provide a set of common reference points that can be used as criteria for decision making and serve as enablers for deployment. The trust that comes from shared values breeds viable, long-term relationships throughout the network of customers and suppliers as well. When there is a divergence from the values framework, the enterprise becomes vulnerable as its channels begin to corrode. Incompatible or token values, like wallpaper pasted over a fractured wall, do not work when there is the least amount of stress (Kramer & Messick 2005).
Human capital management is a broader and more integrated effort to manage and develop human capabilities to achieve significantly higher levels of business performance. Moving to develop and deploy knowledge and people in the most effective way and to facilitate the flow of knowledge across organizations requires not just technology. It also involves building capabilities in strategy and leadership development, changing organizational design and structure, nurturing a host of informal organizations, and shaping a set of management, financial, and quality processes that are in concert and able to constantly adjust to new conditions. This means moving toward organizations that are capable of systematic transformation. Value is the potential for future economic performance rather than a reiteration of past performance. In the organizational world, past performance is not necessarily the best predictor of future performance. Leaders can quickly lose their pre-eminent position (Avolio 2005). This flies in the face of approaches that are built on past performance being the best predictor of the future. Past performance may, in fact, bear little or no relation to future success in emerging or declining areas. Furthermore, in this information-based world, concepts of value creation need to expand to reflect the central role of the workforce. While value can be readily calculated as the discounted sum of future cash flows, in emerging areas it is highly uncertain because the terminal value for this calculation dominates the total. Further compounding the uncertainty is the discount rate, which must reflect the uncertainties inherent in growing businesses. With this in mind, approaches to estimating value creation need to build on the concept of the value created by each individual, magnified by networking and connecting and consolidated for the whole organization. This differs from the traditional view of the workforce as a cost to be minimized, instead viewing it as a resource to be developed and maximized (Lucas 2006). The performance of a firm will depend on how it acquires knowledge and motivates the personnel so they will reduce the number of absences they make in a week or month.
Absence refers to the non-attendance of employees for scheduled work when they are expected to attend. The different ways in which absence is calculated has made inter-company comparison difficult and international comparison impossible. The issue is also something of a taboo in organizations for different, but related, reasons. First, it may be that organizations are just too embarrassed to address this issue internally let alone discuss it publicly in management journals. Thus, for a company to admit that it has an absence problem is perhaps to admit to being perceived as being a bad employer. Second, managers may treat absenteeism as an act of God that has to be endured, rather than as an organizational problem that is capable of being solved (Tyson 2006). Even if they believe that something can be done about it, there is surprisingly little up-to-date information on absence causes and controls available in a form that can be directly used by management. As well as definitional issues, there is a serious issue of people’s ability to attend. Family responsibilities, transportation problems, illness and accidents all have a role to play. But what is perhaps noticeable about the plethora of studies in this area is the neglect of individual differences. Critics of absenteeism measures have observed that they are frequently loaded with error variance and are therefore contaminated because a person can be off the job for a variety of reasons (Hitt & Smith 2005).
As soon as a company attempts to measure absences, reliability may be threatened because it is difficult for the record of absence to be certain of the true cause and hence the correct classification of failure to attend. Any systematic approach to the problem of absenteeism has to acknowledge the myriad of discrete and interdependent factors which may underlie it. Reasons for non-attendance at work are often situation and organization specific, so much so that individual difference factors are ‘washed out’ by these more powerful factors. There is a surprising paucity of conceptual frameworks for integrating the research findings of employee absenteeism. Yet, in understanding the reasons why it occurs, it is essential that the major sets of variables should be identified and fitted together in a systematic fashion (Inkpen & Ramaswamy 2006). Absenteeism, sickness, complaints, requirements to resign, commendations and numbers of arrests are nearly always too low in frequency to be of a great deal of use. They may also vary between busy urban and rural areas. Promotion is not a good measure either because a good officer will not necessarily be promoted or seek promotion. Although personality factors have been shown to play a part in absenteeism, these are frequently ‘washed out’ by powerful organizational factors that are the primary determinant of absenteeism. A variety of sociological and organizational factors combined to affect absenteeism levels. While personality factors do play a small part, these probably only operate in very loose or un rule-bound organizations. Alas, however, the fact that individual difference factors seem less important has meant that there has been comparatively little research in this area (Arthur 2006).
It seems, then, that the main effect of personality traits on absenteeism is relatively small, and less powerful than demographic variables. However, when in interaction with organizational factors, they can account for major proportions of the variance in predicting absenteeism behaviour. Simultaneously occurring with the intervention-based and measurement-oriented studies, there have been efforts at theorizing about absenteeism. Unfortunately, these theoretical efforts have been quite different and do not represent a clear accumulation of knowledge. Work attitudes, like job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and events, like absenteeism and turnover, develop and occur over time. Correspondingly, the duration of measurement for any relevant constructs could then be determined by theory, rather than the researcher's convenience (Strack 2006). In some cases, job attitudes and withdrawal behaviors occur smoothly, gradually, and monotonically; in other cases, distinctive stimuli punctuate these occurrences. Any substantive withdrawal theory must deal directly with how these processes unfold over time. Moreover, a theory should address how contexts and employees change over time, with some changes being systematic and others being random. The reward value for coming to work on a given day decreases as the number of consecutive days an employee has already come to work increases, until some base level is eventually reached. Simultaneously, the magnitude for the motivational forces to attend to the non work alternatives increases over time, particularly when there has been little or no opportunity to attend to these non work activities. At some point, the attraction to attend to non work activities may exceed the attraction to attend work, and absenteeism occurs. In turn, when the attraction to attend work exceeds the attraction to attend to non work activities, the absence spell ends. Furthermore, the more dissatisfying the job, the more attractive non work activities should be. As a result, the strength of an attendance spell should decrease with time (Sinclair 2007).Absenteeism reduces the performance of personnel and makes a firm lose productivity.
Employee motivation and absenteeism
Motivation is the art of helping people to focus their minds and energies on doing their work as effectively as possible. In the real world, motivation is the art of creating conditions that allow everyone to get his work done at his own peak level of efficiency. Individuals, companies, and countries that can do that consistently acquire enormous advantages over their competitors. Real motivation is much more than mere entertainment. It's more than antics on a lecture platform, more than bellowing into a microphone (Lamb & Mckee 2005). Real motivation is the serious, never-ending task of creating conditions to which the natural response of ordinary people is to accomplish extraordinary things. If simple motivation formulas work only part of the time, why are they so popular? Precisely because they are simple. What makes them so attractive is that it's a tough world out there, full of people who march to different drumbeats. Some managers find that diversity scary, so they cuddle up to a recipe that is at least understandable, no matter how drastically it oversimplifies the truth. Real motivators are not dismayed by differences between individuals, or by inconsistencies in the same individual. They thrive on it. They would rather give their minds a good workout than a good rest. making sure that the bargain was kept. This is where economics and psychology get all tangled up with each other (Burke & Cooper 2005).
Economic theory assumes that people act rationally in their own self-interest. Of course, most economists know enough about psychology to realize that this is a proposition that isn’t necessarily so. But trying to factor human irrationality in all its varied forms into an already complicated theory would make it too horrendously convoluted. Instead, economists assume that the effects of irrationality will come out in the wash. Most people are not irrational about money, but their logic is subtler than the logic of economists. Of course, most people wouldn't mind receiving more money, as long as they don't have to pay much for it in time, effort, risk, or forgone pleasures. That's why lotteries and other forms of cheap entertainment are so popular. But there's a limit to how much people are willing to give up just to make more money. That's especially true if the extra money comes in relatively small amounts (Gilley 2005). To motivate people with money, someone has to offer them a very good deal. Lots of extra money for a small increase in effort should do the trick. But that, of course, would be uneconomical for the motivator. And there lies the paradox. The great irony in trying to use money as a motivator is that it is by far the most expensive and inefficient of all motivators. It takes a lot of money to buy a little extra effort. The limit on one’s ability to motivate with money is financial, not psychological. Money motivation just costs too damned much. It's as simple as that. Money is a wonderful communicator, a great attention-getter, and an excellent recruiter. And, alas, it's an all-too-effective corrupter. But a great motivator it is not, and that's chiefly because of its cost. Good motivators tend to be well paid. But that's only one of the ways to motivate them, and it's rarely the most important (McGee 2005).
The truth is that motivation is a bit of a mystery. Most people, even if they're being totally candid, can't give a clear or convincing account of what they're up to, or why they've done what they've done. Instead one has to infer the reasons for behavior from behavior itself. So when one sees someone repeatedly acting in ways that usually lead to a certain result, he/she draw the common-sense conclusion that this result is what that person really wants. And that's all people really mean by a motive. It's a psychologist's way of saying that most people, most of the time, probably get what they want. Not necessarily what they deserve, or what's good for them, but what they want. Bosses are sometimes unnecessary. For example, if the subordinates are well-trained and reliable. It is also true if the boss's contribution to their work consists largely of decisions that the subordinates could make, or learn to make, for themselves (Kossek & Lambert 2005). No matter how genial and inoffensive the superfluous supervisor might be, the very existence of his job carries an onerous implication. It suggests that the workers aren't bright enough, or mature enough, to do their work without someone to tell them what to do. This is why one can sometimes change a bad job into a motivating job just by cutting back drastically on the amount of supervision, or even by eliminating it altogether. One can achieve major motivational gains this way but only if they can handle the backlash from an unexpected source. Simply fixing a bad job in this way is relatively easy. The really tough part is dealing with the political effect of lots of switched-on, highly motivated people. Fixing bad jobs raises the question of whether one really wants motivation as much as they claim they do. That's because motivation, comes with a price tag attached to it. And that price is something that people is much more sensitive about than mere money. It's the comfort and peace of mind that comes with knowing that the person is in control and that nothing is going to happen unless he/she makes it happen (Kermally 2005). Motivation is important so that people will reduce the number of absences. Motivation helps individuals perform at their most effective form.
Employee training and absenteeism
A force driving change in the field today is the growing dissatisfaction with training activities and the lack of results from training. Several factors drive this growing dissatisfaction. First, management's interest in workforce development results in considerably more financial resources being expended. In the United States alone, over sixty billion dollars in direct costs were being spent each year by business organizations. Second, while training costs continue to rise, there has been little or no discernible improvement in the results from training (Flynn 2006). Most of the investment in organizational training and development has been wasted because much of the knowledge and many of the skills gained in training well over 80 percent by some estimates is not being fully applied by those employees on the job. Finally, line managers in most organizations see the training function as an expense rather than added value. In addition, those in the training community have been unable to demonstrate clear value because the results of training activities have had little impact on job behavior. These major forces have prompted the innovators within the training community to shift to a focus on performance improvement. This shift goes far beyond improvement in the technology of training (Tayeb 2005).
The most dramatic change associated with the shift to performance has been the manner in which trainers now often called performance consultants work with line managers. Previously, trainers had operated either as experts, or as pairs of hands. The expert approach resulted in training functions determining what courses they would offer, the content of those courses, and how the courses would be delivered. As pairs of hands, trainers implemented requests from management for specific topics and courses, whether or not training was really needed. Now, however, trainers operate as performance consultants. They initiate and develop relationships with the key managers within the organization over a period of time. The consultants become knowledgeable about the business of the business and, when interfacing with management, use business language (Bannock 2005). Performance consultants are quick to respond to requests, and they alert management when training alone is not appropriate. Effective performance consultants spend 18 percent of their time forming, building, and maintaining relationships with key managers within their organizations. Previously, both the training function and line managers saw training as a nice to have. For example, managers might feel that interpersonal communications training would enhance the way people worked together, but they would expect little or no impact on business results. However, performance consultants use a performance improvement approach. They first clarify the business need and how management measures the achievement of that need. Once trainers determine that a shift is required and clarify what a performance approach would look like, then the question becomes how to make the transition (Drori Hwang & Meyer 2006).
Within the training and development field, there are two parallel, but separate, paths for making the shift one as an individual contributor and the other as a performance department. As an individual contributor, the consultant reports directly to line management and usually operates independently of a training department. Many business services are obviously supplied in a satisfactory way by the market. At one extreme, banking, accounting and legal services, as well as training facilities for IT and other specialized skills such as languages, are widely used by SMEs, and there is again ample supply and demand. At the other extreme, for commercial information, the main focus of public provision, paid services are much less widely used. There are problems identified in economic theory affecting both supply and demand for these services (Watson 2005). For training, the economic case for imperfections in the market has some similarities to that for information and advice, though it is simpler. It is essentially that the demand for external training courses from small firms is bound to be lower than for large firms. This is because the proportionate cost and disruption of sending an employee, or the owner-manager, on a training course is obviously higher for a firm with just one owner-manager and a few employees than for a large firm with many employees and several layers of management. It will be cheaper for the small firm, at least as far as employees are concerned, to hire someone in the labor market who is already trained. Intervention here is justified by the argument that the social benefits of training exceed the private benefits to the small firm, since both individuals and the economy benefit from the training. It is also argued that because they face greater uncertainty, small firms adopt shorter timescales that lead to underinvestment in training compared with large firms. Finally, because every small firm is unique in some sense there will inevitably be a deficiency in the supply of certain types of training suited to their particular needs. The case for specific intervention for small firm training is again buttressed by numerous survey findings (McConnell 2005). Training will make sure that absentee employees will maintain their productivity and efficiency so that the performance of the firm will remain the same.
Chapter 3 Methodology
The researcher needs to balance time and finances thus he/she needs to use theories that will consider both aspects. The researcher needs to make sure that the tools and theories will not give much complications and difficulties so that proper data can be acquired at the planned length of study. The fourth chapter intends to narrate the different methods, strategies and procedures used in the study; this chapter will discuss the research perspective. The researcher used a descriptive approach. The descriptive research was used because it can describe a data, its characteristics and how it relates to the research. The descriptive approach focuses on determining how a data can affect validity of a study. The descriptive approach is different from the other four in that only one variable is considered at a time so that no comparisons or relationships are made. Of course, the descriptive approach does not meet any of the other criteria, such as random assignment of participants to groups. Most research studies include some descriptive questions at least to describe the sample, but most do not stop there. In fact, it is rare these days for published quantitative research to be purely descriptive.
Most research books use a considerably broader definition for descriptive research. For example, some experimental design books use the term descriptive research to include all research that is not randomized experimental or quasi-experimental. Others do not have a clear definition and use the word descriptive almost as a synonym for exploratory or sometimes co relational research. Most experts believe that it is clearer and less confusing to restrict the term descriptive research to questions and studies that use only descriptive statistics, such as averages, percentages, histograms, and frequency distributions that are not tested for statistical significance with inferential statistics. Complex descriptive statistics could be tested for significance with inferential statistics; if they were so tested they would no longer be considered descriptive. Most qualitative or constructivist researchers ask complex descriptive questions because they consider more than one variable or concept at a time, but they seldom use inferential or hypothesis testing statistics. Furthermore, complex descriptive statistics are used to check reliability and to reduce the number of variables. The descriptive approach is mostly used in statistical calculations that involve frequencies and averages. Researchers conduct a descriptive approach by making use of systematic observations under conditions in a controlled environment. After observation the researcher records the description of what he/she observes. In such approach no theories or hypothesis are tested thus there would be lesser need for interpretation. What is needed is the statement that gives a description of the observation and the specific conditions that triggered the observation. Descriptive approach provides for some basis of speculation that can result to the creation of theories or hypothesis that can be tested in a different approach.
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
Qualitative and quantitative methods would be used. Holistic researchers tend not to think of qualitative and quantitative research as separate disciplines. Holistic researchers recognize the power of the rigorous statistical analysis of quantitative data, but they also see merit, on occasion, in analyzing quantitative data in a qualitative way. Similarly, the holistic researcher understands the benefits, where appropriate, of not only examining qualitative data in a thematic way, but also subjecting the evidence to a more quantitatively orientated analysis. Many research projects have a range of purposes incorporating several research questions. These questions may be primarily quantitative, primarily qualitative, or include both qualitative and quantitative elements. Questions that are either openly or implicitly about quantity, about how much or how many, or measuring one thing against another, are going to require quantitative analysis. Questions about meanings require qualitative analysis. Any combination or sequence of methods or approaches can be used, provided it can be justified by the research purpose and the different components are adequately articulated and integrated. This includes being clear about what each approach brings to the study, and their limitations. This design occurs when the findings of the qualitative research are used to develop the quantitative phase of the research. This is a common approach to mixing methods, but one that is sometimes misunderstood. Some primarily quantitative researchers see a limited role for using qualitative research in an exploratory capacity, but always followed by quantitative research. Mixed qualitative and quantitative designs do not always have to be interdependent to the extent described above. Sometimes quantitative and qualitative components of a study are carried out independently and the conduct of one does not depend on the other. In this case it does not matter whether they are conducted concurrently, sequentially or in any particular order. Different methods may be used to address the same research question, as in a classic triangulation, or relate to different aspects of the research. The purposes of a mixed-method study of this type would generally be triangulation, complementarity or expansion, or some combination of these.
Sampling is used to determine the number of individuals that convinced to participate in the survey. Many forms of sampling design are available one of which is quota sampling. Quota or Non probability sampling involves the researcher first obtaining up-to-date information about the population under investigation. Quotas to reflect the characteristics of the target universe are then set (Jaisingh 2006). One form of non probability sampling is judgment sampling. The researchers are going to collect information from some groups namely adults aged over 18 who have been working in the White Star Line for more than 4 years. The best sampling method that can be used in such situation is the judgment sampling. In judgment sampling the respondents will be selected according to a certain criteria created by the researcher. The criteria may include their status in life or their rank in the organization. Another criteria can be the job responsibilities they possess or the specific business process that they must master (Coles 2006).
Data collection method
When items are organized into instruments, there are also issues of instrument format to consider. An important dimension of instrument design is the uniformity of the formats within the instrument. An instrument can consist entirely of one item format, such as is typical in many standardized achievement tests where all are usually multiple-choice items, and in many surveys, where Likert-type items are mostly used although sometimes with different response categories for different sections of the survey (Wilson 2005). Data will be collected through the use of questionnaires/survey. The survey will be confined only to the White Star Line due to limitations in finances and time. Some respondents would be the HR officials while some would be personnel. The respondents would have a total of 100 individuals; the respondents would be divided in equal parts. Personally administered questionnaires will be given to White Star Line or will be sent to the company via email.
Acquired data will be analyzed through descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics are simply summary scores for sets of data and as such characterize various aspects of the units studied. There are different ways in which descriptive analysis is conducted and presented: tabular, graphical and statistical. Tabular analysis involves presenting the results of analysis in tables. Frequently the information contained in a table can be presented as a graph. For simple analysis a graph might display patterns more readily than a table might. Statistics provide summary measures of information contained in a set of cases. These descriptive statistics are frequently a single number and do not contain as much information as a table or graph but they can provide an easily understood snapshot of a set of cases (Croon, Sijtsma and Van Der Ark 2005). Data analysis is not just a technical matter. Researchers have ethical responsibilities to analyze data properly and report it fairly. Inappropriate analysis may not be deliberate but may mislead nonetheless. Ignorance of appropriate methodology-or at least the representation of greater expertise than one possesses-is just as unethical as falsification of results (Kanbur and Venables 2005).n this study, the researchers will apply descriptive to compare data among the variables. In analyzing the collected data, the paper will be divided into two categories these are: the results and findings of the survey with the officials and the results and findings of the survey with the personnel.
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