Employee Monitoring Research Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Careers Type: Research Paper Paper: #61517271 Related Topics: Employee Motivation, Surveillance, Concealed Carry, Workplace Privacy
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … Ethical Implications of Employee Monitoring

In recent years information technology (IT) has transformed workplaces tremendously. For instance, employers worldwide have embraced the use of technology to monitor the activities employees engage in during working hours and to increase the amount of work done on online business platforms. This was largely influenced by findings from numerous studies that established that if left unsupervised, employees tend to waste a lot of time and resources online. In fact, one Survey by Websense reported that one third of employees used the internet for personal reasons, which translates to costs of about $85 billion in America due to lost work time (Papini, 2007). Some employees may also use company resources for their own gain, which violates the organization's rules and procedures and decreases their productivity. According to a study done by the Work Surveillance Project of the Privacy Foundation[footnoteRef:1], of the 100 million online workers around the globe, 35% are being monitored (Weckert. 2005). In the U.S., an Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance Survey[footnoteRef:2] reported that more than a quarter of the total employers have dismissed employees for misuse of emails and a third have dismissed them for wrongful use of the internet. However, along with the benefits of information technology comes potential problems to an organization; such as security breaches, violation of privacy, or misuse. This text identifies the roles IT plays in employee monitoring, how it impacts the organization, and it also examines some of the ethical issues it brings forth. [1: The Work Surveillance Project of the Privacy Foundation is used to monitor email surveillance by businesses and information provided by the UNDOC website.] [2: The Electronic Monitoring and Survey is conducted by the American Management Association to find out the statistics of surveillance methods used by organizations.]

The motivations...

...

According to Weckert (2005) some of the main motivations include the reduction of prices of the applicable software, increased need for internet use in the workplace, the ability to conceal surveillance information from the employees, and the belief that monitoring leads to more effective employees. A survey conducted by the American Management Association (AMA) established that: 47% of employers used EEM to keep track of emails, 68% to monitor how the internet is used, 60% for security reasons, and 68% to avoid illegal activities (Papini, 2007). This suggests that the other motivations for employee monitoring and surveillance are: to improve employee's performance, to avoid wastage of time on non-work related activities, to avoid illegal activities that may be carried out without the management's knowledge, and to avoid transfer of confidential and valuable company information to third parties.

Software packages, such as LittleBrother[footnoteRef:3] are used. What LittleBrother does is that it makes use of databases which classify all employees' activities as either productive or unproductive, depending on the websites visited and the browsing sessions. Using such packages, the organization is able to identify individuals who mostly visit unproductive sites, how frequently they use them, and at what times of the day. Employers can also use CCTV cameras to monitor hourly movements and to gauge how idle or busy employees are. In customer service, calls are recorded to assess the quality of the conversations, which will help in improving the performance and to facilitate better feedback and interactions with customers. Sometimes, emails activities are monitored, which is advantageous because illegal activities can be identified, the spread of rumors or wrong information avoided, and disrespect to both colleagues and the management nipped in the bud. [3: Little Brother is one of the most popular software packages used for employee monitoring]

The impact of employee monitoring on the organization and the employees

Employers are the biggest beneficiaries of EEM. They are able to reduce wastage of time and resources…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Papini, J.S. (2007). Big Brother: The Effect of Electronic Employee Monitoring on Electronic Misbehavior, Job Satisfaction and Organiozational Commitment. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Information and Learning Company

Stanton, J.M. & Stam, K.R. (2006) The Visible Employee: Using Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance to Protect Information Assets-Without Compromising Employee Privacy or Trust. New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

Weckert, J. (2005). Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace: Controversies and Solutions. Heyshey, PA: Idea Group Publishing


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