Downsizing with Competitive Outsourcing: its Impact on Absenteeism in the Public Sector

Nathan P. Cote, Raymon R. Bruce


The authors were asked to examine a problem of employee absenteeism from the abuse of sick and annual leave during Competitive Sourcing Program (CSP) study at an U.S. Air Force organization. The purpose of this study was therefore, to determine if there was statistically more or less absenteeism in the form of leave being taken in an organization undergoing downsizing through a CSP. Therefore, in order to answer that question, a comparison of two sets of stratified random samples of leave usage data comparing employees in a CSP study organization against employees in an organization not under a CSP study was conducted. The research shoved that the employees in an organization undergoing a Competitive Study took fewer sick leaves than the employees in the control organizations not undergoing a CSP study. Whether this was due to fear of being singled out for being let go first or a prudent strategy for the employees to improve the unit’s competitiveness with outside contractors must be the subjects of further research. In any case, this research shows the value of researching the facts to verify significant management’s concerns about employee behavior.


outsourcing; competitive sourcing; employee absenteeism; downsizing; public sector

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603