Healthcare performance turned into decision support

Christian Michel Sørup, Peter Jacobsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Purpose – The purpose of this study is to first create an overview of relevant factors directly
    influencing employee absence in the healthcare sector. The overview is used to further investigate the
    factors identified using employee satisfaction survey scores exclusively. The result of the overall
    objective is a management framework that allows managers to gain insight into the current status of
    risk factors with high influence on employee absence levels.
    Design/methodology/approach – The research consists of a quantitative literature study
    supported by formal and semi-formal interviews conducted at the case organisations. Employee
    satisfaction surveys were applied to analyse the development over time of selected factors correlated
    with concurrent employee absence rates. Checking for causal results, comparisons with the included
    published literature findings were also carried out.
    Findings – Four major clustered factors, three of which constitute the term “social capital”, showed a
    high degree of connection with employee absence rates. The factors are general satisfaction, fairness,
    reliance and co-operation. Integrating the four elements in a management framework will provide
    valuable and holistic information about the determinants with regard to current levels of employee
    absence. The framework will be a valuable support for leaders with the authority to alter the
    determinants of employee absence.
    Research limitations/implications – Since a great part of the empirical material is supplied from
    the healthcare sector, the results obtained could be restricted to this sector. Inclusion of data from
    Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (ATP) showed no deviation from the results in the healthcare
    Practical implications – The product of the study is a decision support tool for leaders to cope with
    levels of employee absence. The framework is holistic and can prove to be a valuable tool to take a
    bearing of where to focus future initiatives.
    Originality/value – Gathering former observational studies in a complete overview embracing
    many relevant factors that influence sickness absence has not yet been attempted. Hospital
    management is provided with valuable information when given insight into the factors that control
    employee absence behaviour. Having this insight will enable the managers to promote a healthy
    working environment, thus lowering employee absence rates to a minimum.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Health, Organization and Management
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)64-84
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Key performance indicators
    • Sickness absence
    • Performance measurement
    • Decision support
    • Health care
    • Performance management
    • Absenteeism
    • Health services


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