Human Resource Manager Perceptions of Reasons to Electronically Monitor or Not Monitor Employees

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2017


We are more connected than we have ever been due to advancement of technology and its devices. With increased connectivity comes increased questions that pertain to the ethical issues tied to monitoring. These questions revolve around who is being monitored, why are they being monitored, how valid is that monitoring information and what is done with it once received? This paper analyzes the viewpoint of the HR professional and their reason to deploy or not to deploy monitoring via (IofT) Internet-of-Things, location monitoring, and software monitoring. For companies there seems to be a clear advantage to the implementation of monitoring, and that points to efficiency and employee productivity which ultimately can lead to increasing the bottom line. While the positives are evident, there are also potential drawbacks such as increased stress levels and frustration due to a new environment laden with monitoring devices. It is also important to note the legal ramifications to monitoring which concurrently exist as well. While there are potential advantages, it is also going to cost money to implement, synthesize, and deploy those findings for the company.

Data Results

It is worth noting that the perceptions of older respondents indicated churn and secrecy as potential negatives in terms of implementing monitoring. The chief justification for the implementation of monitoring for HR professionals boiled down to the protection of the organization. Items that surface in this analysis (in terms of protection) are viruses, malware, legal implications, and crime. Conversely, the mindset of why not to monitor was closely related to a lack of trust toward management and of course privacy was a chief concern. In terms of experiential knowledge and awareness, GPS and RFID were most commonly noted, but least noted was experience and understanding related to biometrics and data mining. Experiential knowledge of monitoring, the size of the institution, gender, and policies related to employee rights were not associated with the justification of whether to monitor or not to monitor. As stated earlier, the demographic which indicated drawbacks to monitoring were an older demographic of respondents. As this is a fairly nascent integration into organizations, further research is necessary in order to develop further understanding into the perceptions and ramifications of specific monitoring.

Thanks to Steve Silva, Graduate Assistant, Boise State University, for writing this original abstract/summary of the paper.

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