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


  • Nathan P. Cote, Raymon R. Bruce Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Webster University, and Park University, extended campuses


outsourcing, competitive sourcing, employee absenteeism, downsizing, public sector.


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.