Australian Sickie Case Study

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The “Australian Sickie”, defined as consistent failure to appear, especially for work or other regular duties, is costing employers a fortune due to the abuse of leave entitlements by employees. It has been estimated by Direct Health Solutions, a firm that specialises in workplace absenteeism, that “sickies” are costing the Australian economy up to $30 billion a year, causing a loss of productivity in organisations. In Toyota’s case, one distinct problem is absenteeism around public holidays for instance Australia Day where up to 30% of employees called in sick in 2012, giving themselves an official long weekend following the Thursday public holiday. Employees are not quizzed over or asked to provide a doctor’s certificate for prove of sickness. This report will argue that the core culture in Australian businesses are weaker compared to eastern firms. One of the major issues for Australian businesses is the lack of organisational culture. Although absenteeism is a major issue in Australian companies, few organisations are taking the relatively simple steps required to fix the problem. “People just don’t show up”, stated one mid-career consultant from a big name firm. (Schermerhorn, 2014) Deficient in possessing a strong organisational culture, businesses fail to discourage dysfunctional work behaviours. This lack of organisational culture has left Australian businesses without shared beliefs and values that are supposed to develop within an organisation.
While not always easy to define, culture is an evident, influential force in any organization, made up of its employees shared values, beliefs, symbols, behaviours and actions. As a result, it can have a potent effect on a company’s well-being and success. Deal and Kennedy (1982)...

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... and reporting purposes. Chinese firms see bureaucracy as ownership, control and centralised decision making. Employees must follow instructions without questions. On the basis of these differences between Chinese and Australian cultures in power distance, control, decision making and governance, it is shown that national cultures can influence the firm's organisational culture, leadership style and subsequently, their level of job satisfaction and commitment. (Dirani, 2009) As high rates of absenteeism are a signal there’s something very wrong with the way employees are engaged and as relationship between employees and management is key to having a successful productive business, it is clear that business in the east have a better organisational culture than Australia, thus employees are clocking up less hours of absenteeism in comparison to employees in Australia.
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