Sykefravær: Kan forventninger og relasjoner være av betydning?

Kristin Aase

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aims at examine sickness absence within my case organization, ISS Norway. I use four ISS staff restaurants/ canteens in the Oslo area as case when I examine my research questions. Sickness absence is a complex and diverse issue and are linked with lower productivity, a lower work moral and a high degree of sickness absence within an organization can contribute to give the organization a bad reputation. In Norway sickness absence/ sickness leave has been and still is highly debated within organizations, in the general debate at society level and it is an important issue on the political agenda. One important reason for the debate is that the sickness absence rate in Norway is considered as high compared to most other European countries. I Norway we have different reforms and initiatives aimed at prevent sickness leave and to get the sick back to work. An important reform is the so- called IA- agreement, which was negotiated in 2001. The agreements goal is to create greater attention within a workplace to measures that can help reduce sickness leave and to help absentees back. ISS (Norway) has chosen to be a so- called IA- organization; this is highly influential with regards to how they work with sickness absence. ISS have created a model to deal with sickness absence that is highly based on the IA- agreement; the model consists of set rules and procedures. Every division within ISS and every employee are supposed to meet the same routines and rules regarding sickness leave. In addition all employees are supposed to have the same opportunity to get sickness prevention aids and utilities. In spite of the set rules, procedures and promises the sickness absent rates varies. Especially one of the case cantinas clearly stands out and differs. This thesis tries to examine possible reasons for the sickness absence variation. In this assignment how employees understand and create meaning around their work and around sickness absence is essential. Expectations between colleagues and between employee and employer are central. The assignment uses the theory about the psychological contract to look upon expectations. Does these expectations affect the sickness absence? The assignment also uses the psychological contract to examine cases where an employee is in a situation where he/ she have to choose between absence and work. The assignment will point out that relational factors are important in this consideration. Furthermore the assignment uses the sensemaking theory. The sensemaking theory is used as a supplement and an addition to the psychological contract theory. The sensemaking theory tries to create understanding around how attitudes, opinions and psychological contracts are created. This thesis aims at making a comparison between the cantina with the highest absence rate (cantina number four) and the other three. The thesis finds that cantina number four differ in terms of relational factors as job- satisfaction, level of conflict, the collegial relationship, relationship with nearest leader and relationship with the costumers. The assignment will further on point out these factors as possible significant for the level of sickness absence. The thesis is based on the respondent’s subjective evaluations and opinions. The results and considerations cannot be used for generalizations.

EducationsMSocSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages167