Human Resource Professional Ethical Perceptions of Organizational Online Monitoring

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2012


A survey of 216 professionals within the Society of Human Resource Management in Texas analyzed perceptions of organizational online monitoring. Survey questions are based on a literature review covering ethical perceptions of managerial monitoring behavior, online information reliability, and company monitoring rights. HR professional ratings and a factor analysis revealed that the most ethical reasons to analyze employees online were associated with legality and company rules. Viewing personal employee behavior not related to the business was not rated as ethical. The professionals rated police records the highest in terms of reliability of online information. The most ethical online policy statement was "employer online monitoring will be done for business-related reasons only." A description of actual managerial practice in the context of perceptions of managerial ethics is premised on the understanding that what employees believe to be unethical in terms of monitoring arises because of their concept of privacy. A discussion of what is perceived to be ethical behavior in light of the relative lack of legal constraints concludes that business purposes are the key constraint in monitoring. Personal information gained from the web may not be ethical and may be sometimes illegal to be used as a basis for employment decisions.

This document is currently not available here.