Organizational Surveillance of Computer-Mediated Workplace Communication: Employee Privacy Concerns and Responses
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Email, social media, and other types of computer-mediated workplace communication tools can enhance flexibility in how employees perform their jobs, expand networking opportunities, increase profits, cut costs, and enable collaboration among diverse groups across the globe. Despite their advantages, these technology tools can also cause security breaches, financial loss, employee distraction, and lawsuits. To prevent such damaging consequences, many companies monitor their employees’ computer-mediated workplace communication. However, this surveillance is often met with resistance from employees as it taps into concerns over workers’ privacy rights, due process, and fairness. We examine these employee concerns through an empirical study of full-time working adults’ beliefs about their computer-mediated workplace communication privacy and their evaluations of organizational justice, trust in upper management, and commitment to the organization. Our results suggest that employees who perceive less computer-mediated workplace communication privacy tend to view their organization’s policies as less fair, trust upper management less, and demonstrate less commitment to their organizations. Furthermore, results indicate that procedural justice mediated the relationship between privacy and organizational commitment and moderated the relationship between privacy and organizational trust.
KeywordsEmployee privacy Electronic monitoring Organizational justice Social networking Communication
Ethical Approval Statement
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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