The Role of Open-To-Learning Workshops in Reducing Sickness Absence
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- Master of Science 
Purpose: As absenteeism in organizations has been shown to be both socially and financially costly, exploring methods to reduce this can be beneficial. This study explored the relationship between Open-To-Learning conversation (OTL) and sickness absence, with trust as a mediating variable. Methodology/approach/design: A classic field experimental design was applied to investigate the effect of OTL workshops with the use of an online questionnaire. In order to measure OTL workshops, a longitudinal design with pre and post testing was conducted, including both a treatment group and control group. Randomly selected schools in Norwegian school districts were chosen to participate which consisted of 43 leaders and 73 teachers. Findings: There were limited significant results in our study, however, the correlation matrix showed that there was a positive relationship between sickness absence and trust. Additionally, and surprisingly, our ANOVA analysis indicated that the control group experienced the lower percentage of sickness absence. Potential Explanations for these results are discussed. Originality: Previous research has highlighted the importance of trust between leader and employee in relation to sickness absence, however this study is the first to introduce OTL conversations as a method to minimize absenteeism from work. As OTL conversations can be an important method in establishing trust between leader and employee, and leader-employee trust has been found to reduce sickness absence, OTL training might shed light on a new method in reducing absenteeism in organizations. Keywords: Open-To-Learning conversations, sickness absence, relational trust, learning.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018