Luksyte, A., Unsworth, K. L., Avery, D. R., Cordery, J. L., & Seah, J. (2022). Gender differences in the relationship between presenteeism and extra‐role behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior.

The relationship between presenteeism, or working despite ill-health, and extra-role behavior can be negative, positive, or null. Our research examines the role of gender in influencing this relationship. We build on the self-regulatory perspective on resource allocation in the context of presenteeism, which emphasizes the role of internal and external pressure on resources. We hypothesize that sick men will direct their resources toward protecting their performance rather than their health, thereby demonstrating citizenship. In contrast, sick women focus their resources on protecting their health, thereby not engaging in extra-role behaviors. We tested our hypotheses in three studies. The results of Study 1, based on employees’ (N = 78) and their supervisors’ (N = 17) data, showed that sick men appeared to protect their performance by engaging in extra-role behaviors. The findings of Study 2 (N = 280) demonstrated that citizenship pressure was not related to the extra-role behaviors of sick men. Yet it was associated with the performance of sick women, who, unlike men, appeared to preserve health and engaged in extra-role behaviors only when they felt pressured to do so. The results of the experimental Study 3 (N = 195) showed that, as predicted, women tended to protect health more than men and that when health protection motive was high (low), presenteeism was negatively (positively) related to extra-role behavior.