Discussion on Workplace Monitoring (Research Proposal Sample)
Organizations encounter a complex web of challenges that emanate from the proliferation of new technologies. Most organizations have adopted electronic monitoring technologies to protect their businesses. Employers use sophisticated techniques to spy on workers both inside and outside the workplace. Throughout history, surveillance of employees in the workplace has attracted considerable attention from researchers, scholars, and the mainstream media. Experts are concerned about such practices and their implications on an individual's privacy of workers. The federal constitution provides various Acts to protect employee privacy. The issue of E-monitoring of workers presents an enormous dilemma to employers in their efforts to protect business reputation, profitability, and relevance in a harsh and competitive environment. The proposed study investigates how employers maneuver such management issues that directly impact organizations. It analyzes data from numerous sources on the ramifications of e-monitoring in the workplace. The research study will employ a convenience sampling method to collect data from a university. The investigation focuses on examining perceived amounts of email monitoring, impacts on workplace relationships, and levels of perceived email privacy. A 5-point Likert-type scale will help to measure and record responses for analysis.
Introduction: This section introduces the business dilemma that the proposed study will investigate
Purpose of proposed study: This part justifies the reason for the planned research.
Literature review: This section reviews five secondary sources that cover the subject of discussion for the paper.
Research questions: The questions that the proposed study aims at answering.
In the past two decades, workplace surveillance, including email, social media, and Internet monitoring, has gained considerable attention from academicians and the mainstream media. The pervasive explosion of new electronic means has prompted businesses to adopt technology to increase productivity and augment profitability and competitiveness. In this same vein, employers deploy a plethora of surveillance systems to track and record workers' business activities, including online dealings and phone conversations. Such technologies help business owners to monitor employee schedules, record communications, and register and analyze performance in real-time. Also, employers use biometric systems to control the identification and access of staff to workstations (Gerten, Beckmann, & Bellmann, 2019). Workplace monitoring and the infringement of employee privacy represent a growing source of a business dilemma for managers and organizations. It is noteworthy that individuals and businesses' daily reliance and dependence on technology have elicited a contestation among multidisciplinary researchers regarding employee privacy in the workplace (Gorenc, 2017). This ethical issue presents a severe challenge to managers because it strains employer-employee relationships.
A growing body of empirical studies reveals that more than three-quarters of organizations in the United States record and review email messages, telephone calls, Internet connections, and computer data of their staff (Gerten et al., 2019). This management approach has existed throughout history in different ways. Experts predict a continuation of this practice as the wave of digitization sweeps across multiple organizations' operations (Gorenc, 2017). In the wake of the growing evolution of sophisticated technologies, the concern of e-monitoring and employee privacy represents the newest source of challenge for businesses. Managers are worried about how to protect businesses while safeguarding employee privacy rights. Most firms in the United States are accustomed to the expectation of workers' privacy (Chory, Vela, & Avtgis, 2016). In the twenty-first century, firms encounter problems in maintaining a degree of employee privacy, avoiding observation, and unauthorized intrusion. Most workers assume that an individual's privacy is protected by having specific account numbers and passwords on their workplace software and emails (Chory et al., 2016). However, when the staff takes some time in the office to watch movies, sports scores, and celebrity news on the Internet, employers use special software programs to record and analyze those activities (Gerten et al., 2019). Notably, approximately 50 million adults in the United States access the Internet at work.
Justification of the Proposed Study
A significant proportion of workers access the Internet on a typical working day. As the world becomes hyper-digitized, the number of people accessing the Internet at work will likely increase remarkably (Lee, Warkentin, Crossler, & Otondo, 2017). It is essential to note that most employees engage in multiple non-work-related activities when they use the Internet during office hours. Chory et al. (2016) observe that more than 72% of Internet users engage in numerous events such as instant messaging, downloading music, video streaming, and other forms of entertainment during office hours. Business managers are concerned about whether employees utilize the company's time productively or create legal liability for organizations through offensive communications (Gorenc, 2017). Besides, employers have concerned with workers' deliberate or accidental dissemination of confidential information in electronic mailing attachments (Atkinson, 2018). Moreover, the issue of cyber-attacks, especially viruses penetrating the business from external communications, explains the essence of electronic surveillance practices (Atkinson, 2018). Consequently, most companies monitor employees' computers and Internet access points more rapidly than ever before. This paper investigates the impact of the employer-employee privacy relationship, which presents new stress for business management. The study reviews the literature on the employer-employee privacy relationship in the technology-driven business environment. Also, the paper presents research methods that will be used to collect and analyze data for the proposed investigation.
In the twenty-first century, organizations face various challenges related to increasing technological advances. As most firms adopt e-commerce to reap its benefits such as low-cost advertising, customer relationships, information gathering, and improved business visibility, surveillance of online activities has become paramount (Gorenc, 2017). According to Lee et al. (2017), business managers are concerned about employees wasting the company's time doing online activities, exposing the company to the dangers of cyberattacks and trading secrets. Employers have adopted electronic monitoring to protect businesses (Atkinson, 2018). Such surveillance is likely to jeopardize the employer-employee privacy relationship.
In recent years, technologies have advanced and created the ability of managers to access limitless information. These technical capabilities have changed irrevocably the way organizations conduct business. Companies have gained control of the world at their fingertips (Chory et al., 2016). The pace of technological advancement continues to augment most business operations in incredible ways. As communication and information technologies continue to advance, businesses witness many ethical, moral, and legal dilemmas (Lee et al. (2017). Privacy rights in the workplace have become the focus, especially for mainstream media.
The federal constitution accords public employees express rights to individual privacy. Most employers monitor workers for performance, productivity, work quality, and efficiency (Chory et al., 2016). In some companies, surveillance of telephone conversations gives employers an accurate picture of how staff associate with customers and the public (Gerten et al., 2019). Such monitoring helps organizations protect business reputation, competitive edge, and profitability. However, people, especially in the United States, negatively perceive workplace monitoring. Fundamentally, most American workers believe surveillance is a critical infringement of employees' privacy rights. Besides, Chory et al. (2016) claim that it is against the Federal Wiretapping Act to intercept any cable, verbal, and electronic communication without the express consent of staff. Nevertheless, the above Act excepts interceptions that employers make during ordinary businesses (Gorenc, 2017). Congress has made numerous amendments to the Federal Wiretapping Act to accommodate emerging cordless telecommunication systems. Most organizations have adopted new technologies to augment their business reputation, increase competitiveness, and enhance profitability (Chory et al., 2016). Business managers monitor employees in various ways, including email surveillance, mobile phone calls during office hours, habits during breaks, Internet access tracking, and their use of social networking platforms (Gerten et al., 2019). The data collected from such surveillance inform managerial decisions such as disciplinary actions, promotions, availability of allowances, and provisions of workers' trips and vacations, among other employee reward schemes and benefits (Atkinson, 2018). Workers found with consistent patterns of deviance in the workplace face disciplinary action or do not qualify for the above benefits.
The interception of email and Internet communication represents a new paradigm of workplace monitoring. Although businesses use email and Internet access as valuable business tools, their mismanagement by employees can lead to a tremendous drain on productivity, the company's image, and efficiency (Gerten et al., 2019). It is noteworthy that monitoring tools provide employers with a high degree of power to protect their businesses. However, it provokes invasion-of-privacy dilemmas. Lee et al. (2017) add that workplace snooping and intrusion into workers' privacy rights have been familiar concepts of capitalism throughout history (2019). The author posits that human employers purchase human labor as a commodity (Lee et al., 2017). In this respect, monitoring and constant evaluation are essential to maximizing labor output. Such workplace monitoring involves some degree of interference with employee confidentiality (Atkinson, 2018).
Researchers question whether today's quantitative changes in surveillance represent a new phenomenon in workplace monitoring. The increasing emergence of new technologies has leveraged employers' surveillance capabilities (Atkinson, 2018). Employers monitored workers through visual observation and abstract time focused on workers' performance in the past. In contrast, today's business environment witnesses an intricate web of interrelated issues, which require sophisticated technologies to analyze and control (Lee et al., 2017). Such new developments in information and communication technologies have revolutionized the way businesses monitor and evaluate workp...
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