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 and application of IT in employee monitoring
Different organizations use different methods of electronic employee monitoring (EEM). 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 to improve employee performance and to assert their authority. This is in agreement with Stanton and Stam (2006), that “monitoring and enforcement enable conformity with the behavioral rules of the organization.” The costs associated with lost work time are also reduced significantly when surveillance and monitoring technology is used. Stanton and Stam explain that employees hold the success of the organization in their hands, which is compromised once company information is mishandled and the resources misused.
Despite the numerous benefits to the organization, employee monitoring has the opposite effect on the employees. Westin (as cited by Papini, 2007) found out those employees who were monitored electronically lost trust in the organization. They work under a lot of pressure when they know they are being surveyed, and they may also conclude that the organization is not confident in their abilities. Stanton and Stam (2006) also state that trust between an organization and its employees is a form of organizational contract. When this level of trust will is breached, it will lead to disgruntled employees, which certainly translate to incompetence and decreased productivity in the long-run.
The ethical implications of the use of IT in employee monitoring
Majority of employees consider EEM an invasion of their privacy. Employees have their own opinions of how information that concerns them should be handled and dispensed, and the limit of the organization’s interference in their private affairs (Papini, 2007). When organizations violate this privacy, they may find out personal information about the employees that may influence the decisions they make. Employees also believe they are the only ones who should read emails addressed in their names. However, employers feel differently about the issue and they believe that unmonitored employees are less effective and if they are not engaged in unproductive activities, they have nothing to be worried about anyway. Employers often feel that so long as employees are aware the emails are being read, it is not a violation of their privacy at all.
Stanton and Stam (2006) claim that the degree of privacy deemed appropriate is different for both employers and employees. Some employees have resorted to suing their employers for invasion of privacy. Legislation is one solution that finds a middle ground and specifies the extent to which information in an organization is considered private. Ethical solutions to this problem also apply and they mostly point towards the consideration of both parties’ interests and concerns. According to Weckert (2005), employees are allowed a certain level of monitoring as long as it is not illegal, it meets the necessary standards, and is aimed at achieving good goals, which is only possible if some rights are infringed. Therefore, organization have to agree with the employees on the extent of surveillance and monitoring that is appropriate, and employees have to give their consent as it has been proven that use of personal resources for personal, illegal, and time wasting activities is frequent in the workplace and it negatively affects productivity.
The use of IT in employee monitoring may have its benefits but in order for it not to compromise the employers’ relationships with employees, technical, informal and formal controls should be used effectively to create good working and regulatory environments in the workplace. They key is for both the organizations and employees to maintain high levels of integrity and honesty. Only then can the impact of technology be positive and amount to substantial benefits for all who use it. From an ethical point-of-view, employers should not misuse EEM just because it is legal. On the other hand, just because employees are entrusted with the company resources does not make it right for them to extend their use to personal activities such as online shopping, accessing social networks, and other non-work related activities. Both parties should apply Immanuel Kant’s theory that maintains that each individual has a level of dignity or a sense of worth that needs to be accorded respect at all times.
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
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!