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Electronic Employee Monitoring:
An Annotated Bibliography
Lisha Liu
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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Basse, Sara. A Gift of Fire. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, 2002. Chapter eight of the book talks about computers and work, which includes a discussion of employee monitoring. Mainly, it focuses on issues related to employee e-mail, web surfing, and voice mail. Employers may monitor employee technology use to avoid employee misconducts such as visiting gambling, pornographic, or hate group web sites and downloading sexually explicit images or copyrighted music to a work computer. The author also compares computer employee monitoring to the old time monitoring facilities, for example, logs and time clocks. This book is useful for people who are doing research on the ethical issues of computer use in the workplace.

Cohen, Sacha. "Thought cop." InfoWorld 23.9 (2001). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 69305561. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. The main reason for employers to implement electronic employee monitoring is lost of productivity. Computer Economics estimates that companies lost $5.3 billion to personal Web surfing in 1999. Partly out of necessity and partly as prevention, two-thirds of major American firms now do some type of electronic monitoring, and 27% of all firms surveyed monitor e-mail according to American Management Association. The author talks about corporate culture and management expectations which play a critical role in setting and implementing Internet and e-mail monitoring policy. All organizations need to implement and update their monitoring policies periodically. Employers should inform employees immediately when monitoring policies change. A handbook of clear guidelines on employee e-mail usage and Internet access is very important as well as communicating policy to employees thoroughly. People who need more related resources on the topic of employee monitoring may not find this article useful because no reference page is provided.

Doherty, Sean. "Monitoring and privacy: Is your head still in the sand?" Network Computing 12.13 (2001). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 74828549. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. Although no federal laws guarantee the right to workplace privacy, privacy issues are unavoidable when it comes to monitoring employees. It is necessary to have a sound monitoring policy and good reasons to monitor. Good reasons to monitor employees include keeping company secrets safe, avoiding legal troubles, discouraging staff from spending more time surfing than working, and assuring employees of a safe and hospitable working environment. Monitoring the network makes good business sense with solid company policy. Furthermore, the author discusses the issue of privacy rights that employees have in the workplace verses how monitoring outweighs the privacy interests. This article would not be useful for people who want to find out more related information on the same topic because no references are provided.

Higgins, Michael. "High Tech, Low Privacy." ABA Journal 85 (1999). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 41064004. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. The line between employers electronically monitoring workers' productivity and privacy is vague. Issues related to new technologies are becoming a big part of the workplace privacy picture. According to a survey by the American Management Association, 43 percent of companies electronically monitored their employees-either by reviewing phone calls, voice mail, computer files or e-mail in 1998. Laws implemented to protect employees' privacy in the workplace vary from state to state. Moreover, there is no national policy to protect privacy in the workplace. Higgins discusses several lawsuits regarding workplace privacy in this essay, which shows that laws for privacy protection in the workplace, for all intents and purposes are confused. This essay would be useful for employees and employers to read, so that they would be aware of legal issues involving workplace privacy and the use of workplace technology.

Holtz, Shel. "Employee Online: The Productivity Issue." Communication World 18.2 (2001). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 69631212. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. Productivity issue regarding Internet uses by employees is discussed. The Internet is actually increasing work-related productivity: for instance, a survey prepared by the University of Texas found that revenue per employee jumped 19 percent from 1998 to 1999 with incorporating the Web into the workplace. The study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 42 percent of the human resources professionals surveyed felt productivity had increased because of the employee access to the Net. According to MCI Worldcom, 63 percent say that the Internet has improved customer service and reduced company costs. This article is very useful because a lot of statistical studies can be obtained.

Lane, Frederick S III. Naked employee: how technology is compromising workplace privacy. New York: AMACOM, 2003. With the advanced technology use of computers, employees' activities can now be measured and monitored. The main reason for monitoring is lost productivity. Increasingly, employers are also looking into if employees have authorized files and forbidden materials on their computer such as games, music, and software. Survey shows that four out of ten employers search the employees' computer periodically. Tools that employers use include Mark I Eyeball, Big Brother, Antigame, etc. Since the widespread adoption of the Internet, E-Mail is rapidly becoming a dominant business communication. Thus, monitoring E-Mail increases the problem of invading privacy. The author also discusses the privacy of web surfing and other legal problems. This is a great book for any one who is interested in researching for workplace privacy and computers.

Martin, Kristen and R Edward Freeman. "Some problems with employee monitoring." Journal of Business Ethics 43.4 (2003). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 355838881. 10 Oct. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. Seven key arguments concerning employee monitoring is discussed. Advocates who are for or against employee monitoring have used these arguments in their debate. The productivity argument talks about whether employee monitoring leads to a higher productivity or decrease productivity. Both sides of the debate have their own rationale for and against the argument. After providing the answer to this argument, the authors go on to discussing other arguments including the liability argument, the privacy argument, the security argument, the creativity argument, the paternalism argument, and the social control argument. None of these arguments is conclusive. This is an excellent article for supporters who argue for or against employee monitoring.

Miller, Seumas and John Weckert. "Privacy, the Workplace and the Internet." Journal of Business Ethics 28.3 (2000). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 64832228. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. Ethical problems concerning workplace privacy are examined from a philosophical point of view with sociological analysis. Problems arise from software for computer monitoring and new possibilities of monitoring such as minute cameras and virtually undetectable listening and recording devices. Such possibilities of monitoring are threatening privacy in the workplace. The authors discuss the extent to which an employer can justifiably infringe and employee's right to privacy, and how far will a violation be reached. Multiple benefits of computer monitoring of employees and a specific definition of privacy are also studied. It is a well-researched article with more than thirty citations, and it is useful for people to do research from a philosophical perspective, but statistics for empirical research are not available.

Mishra, Jitendra M and Suzanne M Crampton. "Employee Monitoring: Privacy in the Workplace?" S.A.M.Adavanced Management Journal 63.3 (1998). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 34124797. 26 Sept. 2003 http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. A detailed description of different types of employee monitoring is introduced. The authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages argued by both employees and employers. Although many motives are positive and help protect employees, the disadvantages for employees outweigh the benefits. An overview of current legislation is also discussed along with some recommended guidelines if employee monitoring is to occur. By following the guidelines, employers can avoid the negative aspects of monitoring. The article is well researched, and a lot of detailed information can be obtained by employers and employees. However, it was written in 1998; it may not be appropriate because technology and legislation have changed over the past few years.

Morris, Frank C Jr. "The Electronic Platform: Email and Other Privacy Issues in the Workplace." Computer and Internet Lawyer 20.8 (2003). ProQuest Direct. Oklahoma State University Library. Article 380155941. 26 Sept. 2003. http://80-proquest.umi.com.argo.library.okstate.edu/. The advent of computer technology poses workplace problems such as employer monitoring that leads into invading employee privacy and exposing themselves to liability. Different approaches of resolving the problems for employers are discussed. Also, the solution is to help enhance business productivity and efficiency with technology use, for example, employers should implement policies in advance regarding employee use of email, the Internet, and any other technical computer uses in the workplace and inform them if monitoring takes place. Training in how to write appropriate business emails and creating a written document retention policy are also an important part of the solution. It is a well-researched article with more than fifty citations, and it is valuable for employers to study in how to handle the use of technology in the workplace.

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