The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the relationship between organizational change and sickness absence and to map and describe the prevailing “trends” in the field. In particular, the paper focuses on the indirect links between change and sickness absence and identifies knowledge gaps and novel research opportunities.
A scoping review was conducted seeking to generate a wide-ranging overview of relevant studies. To this end, research articles were collected through different sources of landmark articles, bibliographies and databases.
The association between organizational change and sickness absence is often explained by adverse changes in work characteristics. Such potential mediation or moderation effects, however, are rarely statistically tested. Including such variables in the analyses may represent an important avenue for future research. Additionally, earlier studies have mainly emphasized organization-wide episodic changes. Recently, however, researchers have focused on smaller and frequently implemented changes. Accordingly, the field of organizational change and occupational health may advance by incorporating greater diversity of change type.
The paper demonstrates that attention to the potential health effects of organizational change will remain important as the field of workplace health management proceeds. Research needs to develop beyond attributions of the relationship between change and sickness absence and focus more on statistical testing of linking variables. The unique contribution of this review is therefore that it identifies knowledge gaps and novel avenues for prospective research.
Grønstad, A.F. (2017), "Exploring work-related attributions of sickness absence during organizational change: A scoping review", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 192-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-03-2016-0012
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