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Team adaptability and task cohesion as resources to the nonlinear dynamics of workload and sickness absenteeism in firefighter teams

Marques-Quinteiro, P., Santos, C., Costa, P., Graca, A., Maroco, J. and Rico, R. (2020) Team adaptability and task cohesion as resources to the nonlinear dynamics of workload and sickness absenteeism in firefighter teams. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 29 (4). pp. 525-540. ISSN 1464-0643

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2019.1691646

Abstract/Summary

The current study builds on the Nonlinear Dynamic Systems (NDS) perspective to test the assumption that change in sickness absenteeism is nonlinear, and that such change is due to workload, team adaptability and task cohesion. Participants were 37 firefighter teams (n = 250 individuals) from a main European capital city. The research hypotheses were tested using SPSS and the “cusp” package, in the statistical software R. The results suggest that change in sickness absenteeism behaviours over time is nonlinear, with the cusp catastrophe model predicting such behaviours better than the linear and logistic models. In our model, task cohesion functions as an asymmetry factor (i.e. the independent variable that determines the strength and discrepancy between the two stable states of the dependent variable) leading to linear change in sickness absenteeism. Interestingly, both workload and team adaptability function as bifurcation (i.e. the independent variable that determines the change between the two stable states of the order parameter) and asymmetry factors leading to nonlinear and linear change in sickness absenteeism over time. This study contributes to the growing evidence that incorporating the NDS perspective enables a better understanding of action teams, namely those working in extreme environments.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:83150
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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