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Emotions & Regulatory Focus Theory Case Solution

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1283 3695 Words (15 Pages) Joel Brockner, E.ToryHiggins
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The absence of employees from their regular work or jobs without taking permission before the absence is known as the Absenteeism. It has been one of the key issues in some activities. When Absenteeism exceeds certain limits, it becomes harmful to the enterprises as the authorities have to pay extra wages for the delayed schedules and overtime work (Uwe, et al., 1990). Hence, it is necessary to study the reasons for and consequences of the Absenteeism to overcome the problems caused by it.

Absenteeism can be described as an unplanned exercise that leads the companies to loss and failure by destroying their regularity (Russo, et al., 2013). It harms a firm or an organization in several ways. It can change the overall work environment by making it abnormal. Furthermore, it lets the workers breach the company rules to cause a loss for the company. All these factors highly affect the productivity of the company and decrease the costs of training and selection. Moreover, it also has a sharp influence on the performance of the company and affects the behavior of the employees. Hence, we can form a link between the job satisfaction and Absenteeism (Russo, et al., 2013).

Therefore, it is the objective of this research paper to study and analyses the relationship between the social cognitive theory and Absenteeism from the perspective of Canadian companies. So, the theory and the structure of the problem will be studied first in this paper. After that, the problem will be analyzed in the light of available evidence.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction

  2. Theoretical Background

  3. Basic Components of the Theory

  4. Analysis of the Problem in Speculative Terms

  5. Suggestions Based on Theory

  6. Conclusion

Case Analysis for Emotions & Regulatory Focus Theory

2. Theoretical Background

Studying absenteeism from a theoretical perspective, we observe that it is purely dependent on the mental and physical characteristics of a person. Over the course of years, several theories regarding the human psychology have been put forward. Although they are built on the same foundations, they differ on the human nature they account for and the key processes and determinants of the human inspirations and actions (Cucchiella, Federica, Gastaldi, Massimo, & Ranieri, 2014). On many occasions, single-sided determinism is used to elaborate the human behavior. Therefore, the models of single-sided determinism explain human behavior as an agency that depends on the internal complexion and environmental effects. Still, the target of this paper for a thorough understanding of the problem will be the social cognitive theory (Uwe, et al., 1990).

3. Basic Components of the Theory

The psychological behavior of the human mind is expressed by the social cognitive theory of complementary motivation. Hence, this theory uses several mutually functioning self-regulatory processes to manage the self-regulatory performance and motivation factors. One of these important processes in the self-regulation process is the faith of the common people in their personal productiveness (Augoustinos, Martha, Walker, & Donaghue, Social Cognition: An Integrated Introduction, 2014).

This personal productiveness accounts for the faith of the people in their very own abilities to organize the inspirations, psychological resources and the paths or activities necessary to command the happenings in their lives. Having a certain set of skills and being able to utilize them in the difficult and pressure situations are two totally different things. Therefore, it is necessary not only to have a certain set of skills but also possessing the composure and capability to use them properly to control certain happenings in life and to reach certain goals. (Murray, Peter, Poole, & Jones, 2006).

Thus, this concept of the personal productiveness can prove fruitful in motivating the people to refrain from absenteeism and might help in improving the performance of a company. The four basic components of this concept are discussed below:


Life experiences are one of the most important ways to learn and develop a powerful sense of personal productiveness. These experiences are closely related to the successes and the failures. Success creates faith in one's self while failures cause a loss of confidence and creates doubts. But, if one is accustomed to successes that come easily, it is hard for one to face and come over the failures and is discouraged by them quite easily. Hence, to develop a good and tough sense of self-productiveness, one must learn to be relentless and use this ability to cross the hurdles (Cucchiella, Gastaldi, & Ranieri, 2014).


Another important method to boost up the confidence and the sense of self-productiveness is the modelling. Good and comprehensive models help in the development of faith and self-belief as they motivate the people by providing them tactics and skills for managing different complex situations (Russo, Dello, Miraglia, Borgogni, & Johns, 2013).

Social Influence

The third method of creating a sense of self-productiveness and efficacy is called the social persuasion. It is a great possibility that people are highly motivated and encouraged by the real life experiences and inspirations. However, if they are provided with unrealistic experiences, they might not be able to get a significant boost of confidence and efficacy from them which might lead them to failure (Uwe, et al., 1990).

Therefore, good motivators and builders of efficacy focus more on the realistic experiences and not only on the positive opinions. They allow people to do certain jobs in order to motivate and increase their self-productiveness practically. Therefore, on the way to personal betterment, success is not the name of defeating others but making yourself better every day (Martocchio, J, & Jimeno, Employee absenteeism as an affective event, 2003).

Physiological Aspects

The last factor that might be used to bolster and strengthen the self-efficacy is the presence of physiological factors. It is observed that people judge their mental and physical capabilities through their physiological situations. They consider physiological problems the signs of poor productivity and self-doubt. Thus, the self-efficacy and confidence of the people can be increased by making them control their stress and fatigue and teaching them not to judge their capabilities by their physiological states (Murray, Peter, Poole, & Jones, 2006).

4. Analysis of the Problem in Speculative Terms

In this research paper, the problem of absenteeism in the business organizations is being discussed particularly in the context of Canada. Absenteeism is regarded as one of the biggest problems of the modern business world. The Canadian statistics show that the absence of an average Canadian from work over the course of a year was two weeks. These 9.3 days lost make up 2.4% of the gross annual payroll. It can also be taken as $16.6 billion for Canadian employers in 2012  (Peat & Don, 2015). Furthermore, informal absences constitute 80 percent of the total lost days of most of the business and surprisingly, most of these absences have no medical record or serious reasons.

The drawbacks of absenteeism are numerous, and they cause a lot of loss for the company in the terms of money, productivity and time. Therefore, the consequences of the absenteeism, although indirect, can be of considerable importance and might have a serious and long-lasting influence (Murray, Peter, Poole, & Jones, 2006).

Despite the efforts to eradicate absenteeism from the business world, a lot can be done in this area yet. In response to the 2013 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, 52 percent employees said that programs are available to trace the absences. But, only 32 percent of these people consult an insurance carrier to implement these programs. Also, only one-third of these use the results of the program to correct and eradicate the absenteeism from their company (Siddall & Kim, 2014).

Organizations can do some things to address absenteeism in a better way in their workplace. One of them is motivating the employees and improving their self-efficacy by applying the social cognitive theory (Augoustinos, Martha, Walker, Donaghue, & Ngaire, Social Cognition: An Integrated Introduction, 2014).

The level of inspiration of people can be determined by their self-belief of efficacy. It is reflected in the circumstance that how much effort they will utilize and how long they will persist. The stronger the confidence in their abilities, the better and more insistent are their determinations. In the case of any difficulty or problem, people having self-doubts about their skills and abilities release their struggles or abandon their efforts impulsively and quickly settle for ordinary solutions. Whereas, people having firm belief in their capabilities employ greater effort to face any challenge. Hence, by trying to apprehend the employees and their complications, organizations in Canada and elsewhere can decrease the level of absence (Bamberger, Peter, Biron, & Michal, 2007).

Social cognitive theory also highlights human capabilities for self-direction and self-motivation. People pursue self-satisfactions from satisfying valued aims, and they are encouraged by displeasure with insufficient performances. So, self-reactive inspirations are generated through inconsistencies between behavioral and personal values. It serves as persuaders and conductors for action intended to achieve preferred results. Thus, people keep their performance in line with their personal standards by using social cognitive theory and self-assessment reactions. Organizations can lessen their employee absenteeism by increasing their belief and confidence in work through the implementation of this speculative framework (Daouk-Öyry, et al., 2014).

Organizational Application

Many Canadian organizations including non-profit organizations such as ACE Foundation and multinationals such as McDonalds have developed an extensive model of absent management in light of the principles of social cognitive theory. These organizations realize that absenteeism of employees causes a huge risk to the profits or goals and thus there should be a comprehensive program to increase self-efficacy of the employees. This is done through the following practical applications of the SCT.


In the Canadian companies, the strategy of attendance management activates by promoting noble health, with the acknowledgement that the core constituents of good health (i.e., physical, psychological and social health) are interconnected and dependent on changing morbid behaviour. Meagre lifestyle choices (high-fat intakes, inadequate exercise) and stressors related to the workstation or family/social problems (e.g., childcare, elder care challenges) can be accomplished through defensive programs. Such programs address health risks or main causes of absenteeism, which might then consequence in time away from work (Augoustinos, Martha, Walker, & Donaghue, Social Cognition: An Integrated Introduction, 2014).


The organizations of Canada also reduce direct and indirect expenses of absenteeism by prevailing as early as possible to report absence sponsors. The earlier the employee obtains direction and support, the sooner the employee can come back to work. Consistent with the social cognitive theory, much attention has been placed on the operative involvement of managers in the short-term. Thus, these organizations challenge to look at methods to decrease the risk of access to short-term infirmity (Evans & Walters, 2002).

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