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Running head: BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 1 Business Research Project: Part II


Company X is a healthcare group that has multiple hospitals in different regions. There


is concern regarding the increasing absenteeism as well as the increase of medical leave of


absences due to cancer and disease diagnosis. Individuals who work in certain occupations may


have advanced possibilities of cancer due to exposure to various chemicals, radiation, or other


facets of their work. Work-related cancer can be avoided by decreasing or eliminating exposures


to possible carcinogens. Therefore several companies insist on their workers wearing protective


equipment and clothing. By law, companies are required to alert their employees of prospective


dangers to their health.


Team's Role as Researchers


Our team has been engaged to investigate Company X?s business problem described


above. The recent increase of job-related injuries and staff being diagnosed with diseases has


become a concern with management. Staff absenteeism of this nature affects production and


operations of the company. Additionally, Company X is concerned about potential actions of


labor unions and lawsuits should Management?s negligence be attributed to this business


problem. Our role as researchers is to provide Company X with an analysis of the current


working conditions that can attribute to injuries and diseases diagnoses. Additionally, our


research will give management comfort if they allocate more funds into safety programs, BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 2 training, and better healthcare solutions that their overall productivity will increase due to the


decrease in absenteeism and medical leave.




The independent variable is the working conditions, which is defined as the safety rating


of the healthcare facility as determined by the individual departments. The safety rating is found


by compiling information like safety incidents, health code violations as well as employee and


consumer surveys. Departmental and company safety is imperative when the company?s goal is


to reduce the cost of work-related injuries and illnesses. The ?outcome variable? depends on the


company?s ability to reduce such injuries and illness through organizational means. Therefore,


the dependent variable is the absenteeism rate. The absenteeism data can be gathered from


Human Resources from the past six months.


Research Question


A research question should address areas of concern, policies that could be improved, and


eliminate redundancy. Good research questions should be feasible, clear, important, and ethical


(Research Rundowns, n.d.). A good research question for the business problem stated above is;


what is the association between the working conditions of the departments and absenteeism?


Hypothesis Statement


By implementing new strategies and protective gears staff members may not get injured


unknowingly by exposure to materials and or equipment used to conduct job requirements. Our


proposed solution is to implement the proper gears, such as gowns, gloves, eyewear, shoe cover


and head coverage for those who are in proximity to detrimental materials or areas of the


hospital. HR and management should ensure protective guidelines are mandatory to ensure the BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 3 safety of staff which in return lessens absenteeism and potentially legal suits being aimed at the




If such changes are implemented as a possible resolution to the staff getting sick with


cancer, this could help lessen the percentage of individuals that would be absent and or want to


make accusations against the company for getting them sick. While this cannot be proven


without a doubt, it does relieve the possibility of the blame on the company?s part. The staff


could be diagnosed with cancer because of biological components, being around certain


materials frequently without protection, the food we eat and maintain bad habits such as


smoking. These are all valid possibilities of the staff being diagnosed with cancer throughout the




Research in Absences Due to Illnesses


Before getting approval to use resources on a research project for a business problem, one


has to find if there are any findings that may prove the hypothesis. One of the major indicators of


poor work environments that companies should be aware of is increased absenteeism. One article


stated that most managers do not understand the magnitude that absenteeism has on their bottom line. Once recognized, ?From there managers can reduce the direct and indirect costs and gain significant benefits including improved production capacity and better customer satisfaction, without increasing payroll (Circadian, n.d.). However, it is evident that improved working conditions can prevent turnover and absenteeism (Fisher, 2016). One study conducted in Denmark linked the working conditions of women to increased absences and long­term illnesses;


however, there was no association between working conditions and men (Lund, Labriola, Christensen, Baultmann, & Villadsen, 2006). Since the mid­1980?s nurses work stress may be BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 4 escalating due to increasing use of technology, the rise in health care costs, and turbulence within


the work environment (Jennings, 2008) and according to Pines, Pollak, Peritz, & Steif (1985), most absenteeism happens amongst the nursing staff. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate if hospital conditions, demographic, and other factors 15 years prior have an impact on absenteeism in the hospital in which it found that high rates of sickness absenteeism can negatively impact staff morale and operations. Another study showed that the average sick day per person was 2 +/­ 1 day for a total of 2571 in a single year with a total 957 employees reviewed. Within the sample size, the illnesses ranged from the common cold to skeletal disease drawing a conclusion that there was a major need to increase ergonomic considerations and ensuring breaks were being taken to reduce stress (Saravi, Kabirzadeh, Rezazadeh, Khariki, Farahabadi, Motamed & Siamian, 2013). According to Mongiovi et al (2016), ?it is currently estimated that over half of the adult U.S. population has one or more of the following chronic diseases: hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, weak or failing kidneys, current asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?. Lost production from absenteeism cost the financial system trillions along with billions exhausted on therapy.


Research in Work Environments


Work environments are imperative to the longevity of human capital. Hospital work environments have a high­stress demand, and some departments have a high turnover rate as well as absenteeism rates. For example, nurses have been found to have a high level of ?burnout.? It has been found that about 60% of nurses, in all countries, except for Germany suffered from burnout. Also, ?between one­quarter and one­third of hospitals in each country were judged to have poor work environments? (Aiken, Sloane, Clarke, Poghosyan, Cho, You, BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 5 Finlayson, Kanai­Pak, & Aungsuroch, 2011). In a separate article that references a Finnish research group that drew parallels between psychosocial work environment and the increase of sickness absences. In addition to the increase of sickness absences, researchers found that there was little intervention from management to prevent sickness and improve the working conditions


(Garcia, 2000). A survey conducted in 2007 found that the working conditions in general and vascular surgery centers found that the working conditions were a direct correlation to the number of residents who take jobs in this particular medical field. Clinical support systems or lack thereof were a major deciding factor in the working conditions and not necessarily the physical conditions or pay (Davenport, Hogan, Mentzer Jr, & Zwischenberger, 2008). Another research article stated, ?A large cross-sectional national probability sample of workers employed


for at least 20 hr per week is analyzed (n = 1308). The dependent variable is the number of selfreported absences during the past 14 days (Leigh, 1991)?. Variables displaying unsafe working


environment appears to be the most powerful association of non-attendance. In addition, a recent


article published by Forbes (2013) stated that there are multiple activities that affect the staff like


bullying and harassment, stress, depression, and accidents at work. Therefore, when there is a


high turnover rate, staffing shortages ?can lead to an increase in accident rates and absenteeism


levels among the nurses who remain? (Hunt, 2009). Based on the article, tens of thousands of


Americans die as a result of human error in the hospitals. It was concluded that nurses are the


link to patient care and emphasis on the poor working conditions increases the level of human


errors. Additionally, nurses work conditions are related to patients? risk of health careassociated infections and occupational injuries and staff (Stone, Clarke, Cimiotti, & Correa-deAraujo, 2004). BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 6 BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 7 References


Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D. M., Clarke, S., Poghosyan, L., Cho, E., You, L., Finlayson, M., Kanai­


Pak, M., & Aungsuroch, Y. (2011, May 11). Importance of work environments on hospital outcomes in nine countries. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 357­364. doi:


Circadian. (n.d.). Shift Work & Absenteeism: The Bottom Line Killer. Retrieved from­shift­work­absenteeism­the­bottom­line­




Davenport, D. L., Hogan, S., Mentzer Jr, R. M., & Zwischenberger, J. B. (2008, February 8). General and vascular surgery resident working conditions and job satisfaction. Journal of


Surgical Research, 144(2), 185­186. doi:10.1016/i.iss.2007.12.026


Fisher, K. (2016). Nurses: Overworked and Understaffed on the Front Lines.. Retrieved from­news/nurses­overworked­understaffed­070714#1


Forbes. (2013, July 10). The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace. Retrieved from­causes­and­costs­of­




Garcia, A. M. (2000, July). Working Conditions and Sickness Absence: The need for action oriented research. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 54(7), 483. Retrieved




Hunt, S. T. (2009). Nursing Turnover: Costs, Causes, & Solutions. Retrieved from BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 8 Jennings BM. Work Stress and Burnout Among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions. In: Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence­


Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr. Chapter 26. Available from:


Leigh, J. (1991). Employee and Job attributes as Predictors of Absenteeism in a National Sample


of Workers: The Importance of Health and Dangerous Working Conditions. Social Science and Medicine, 33(2), 127­137. doi:10.1016/0277­9536(91)90173­A


Lund, T., Labriola, M., Christensen, K. B., Baultmann, U., & Villadsen, E. (2006, January 30). Physical work environment risk factors for long term sickness absence. British Medical Journal, 332(7539), 449. doi:38731.622975.3A


Mongiovi, J., Shi, Z., & Greenlee, H. (2016, July 27). Complementary and alternative medicine use and absenteeism among individuals with chronic disease. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(248). doi:10.119/s12906­016­1195­9


Research Rundowns. (n.d.). Writing Research Questions. Retrieved from­research­questions/


Saravi, B. M., Kabirzadeh, A., Rezazadeh, E., Khariki, M. F., , , Farahabadi, E. B., Motamed, N. & Siamian, H. (2013) Prevalence and Causes of Medical Absenteeism Among Staff (Case Study at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences: 2009­2010) . Materia Socio Medica, 25 (4), 233­237. doi:10.5455/msm.2013.25.233­237 BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECT: PART II 9 Stone, P. W., Clarke, S. P., Cimiotti, J., & Correa­de­Araujo, R. (2004, November 10). Nurses' Working Conditions: Implications for Infectious Disease. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(11), 1984­1989. doi:10.3201/eid1011.040253


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