Original Research

Perceptions of inequity in the workplace: Exploring the link with unauthorised absenteeism

Jessie Banks, Cynthia J. Patel, Mohammed A. Moola
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a402 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i1.402 | © 2012 Jessie Banks, Cynthia J. Patel, Mohammed A. Moola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 July 2011 | Published: 13 July 2012

About the author(s)

Jessie Banks, School of Psychology, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Cynthia J. Patel, School of Psychology, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mohammed A. Moola, School of Psychology, Howard College Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The focus of this study was the relationship between perceptions of inequity and specific withdrawal behaviours.

Research purpose: The purpose of the investigation was to explore possible relationships between workers’ perceptions of inequity in the workplace, intentions toward withdrawal behaviour and unauthorised absenteeism.

Motivation for the study: There is very little South African research on the correlates of perceived inequity in the workplace. This study attempted to address the gap by exploring specific withdrawal behaviours as possible correlates of perceived inequity.

Research design, approach and method: Using a small-scale survey design, the researchers measured intentions towards withdrawal behaviour and recorded rates of absenteeism in a sample of 110 employees from a variety of automotive manufacturing companies in the KwaZulu-Natal area.

Main findings: The researchers did not find a relationship between perceptions of inequity and unauthorised absenteeism but did find one between perceptions of inequity and future withdrawal behaviours.

Practical/managerial implications: The high levels of perceptions of inequity amongst the workers and the finding that workers were more likely to engage in withdrawal behaviours in the future if they perceived unequal treatment in the workplace are worrying issues for the companies involved.

Contribution/value-add: The scale that the researchers developed to measure perceptions of inequity shows preliminary evidence of construct validity. The results suggest that employers need to monitor levels of perceived inequity especially in relation to future withdrawal behaviour.


Keywords

Adam’s equity theory; automotive workers; intentions toward withdrawal behaviour; perception of inequity; unauthorised absenteeism

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