Perceptions of organizational ethics as predictors of work absence: A test of alternative absence measures

Orly Shapira-Lishchinsky, Zehava Rosenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study examined the distinction between two traditional work absence measures: frequency, reflecting voluntary absence, and duration, reflecting non-voluntary absence. The two measures were compared in a test of the relationship between work absence and employees' perceptions of organizational ethics. Questionnaires and archive data were collected from 1,016 teachers in Israel. Organizational ethics was represented by three variables: ethical climate (caring and formal), organizational justice (distributive and procedural), and teacher's tendency to misbehave. Results showed that four ethical constructs (caring climate, formal climate, tendency to misbehave, and procedural justice) were related to absence frequency, while only one (caring climate) was related to absence duration. The findings add to previous research on the distinction between voluntary and involuntary absence measures, and the superior sensitivity of frequency over duration as a measure of voluntary absence. In practice, the results may encourage principals and managers to create ethical workplaces to minimize absence frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-734
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Ethical climate
  • Organizational justice
  • Tendency to misbehave
  • Work absence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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