Organizational Impact of Electronic Monitoring Technology

Essay by dap244University, Master'sA, February 2004

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This is an "impact statement", relating to the effect electronic monitoring would have on an organization's formalized "rules and procedures" and internal communications. Electronic monitoring technology has been adopted by many organizations to monitor their employees. But "instead of monitoring those employees who exhibit suspicious behavior, many employers are instituting 'continuous, systematic surveillance' in the workplace" (Bonsor). These systems bring with them many positives, as well as negatives. This fact must be recognized by the organization, if this technology is to be implemented successfully.

Since workers are key assets to any organization, surveillance system should be structured and planned to avoid damaging their motivation, their environment, and their relations with management as much as possible. If their motivation, environment, or social relations are damaged, meeting the goals of the organization will be made more difficult. Therefore, management should work to minimize any negative ramifications on the organization. To ensure the electronic monitoring system is successfully integrated, an organization will have to change its rules, procedures, and the way they communicate with their employees to avoid being perceived as controlling, suspicious, and untrustworthy.

Advances in technology have allowed employers to collect, store, and analyze "telephone calls, electronic mail ("email"), Internet connections ("Internet") and computer files" (Chang). There are several reasons why organizations have introduced electronic monitoring into the workplace. In some respects, it is a response by management, to the lose in productivity resulting from personal phone calls, "personal e-mails, playing games, viewing pornography, shopping, checking stock prices and gambling online during working hours" (Bonsor). Management may also justify electronic monitoring by citing it as a response to legal liabilities from law suits, confidentially breaches, regulatory demands, and corporate thief and security breaches. Take for example the advantages of video surveillance. Cameras are a cheap, yet effective option for companies that...