Big Brother is Watching: Employee Monitoring
Governance in the workplace is generally accompanied by a function that examines and evaluates the productivity and efficiency of employees. Employee monitoring is defined by this examination and evaluation function. As technology advances, so does the methods employers utilize for employee monitoring. Methods to monitor employees have evolved from a person walking around observing activities to tiered building designs that allow a supervisor a large field of view to surveillance cameras. Introduction of the Internet into the workplace presents new dilemmas and capabilities in the realm of employee monitoring. Are employee-monitoring services a necessary element in the workplace environment? And does employee monitoring offer value added benefits to employees and employers alike? During the course of a general Internet search a large variety of topics are uncovered associated with the topic of employee monitoring. I learned that there are many more ways to monitor employees than I expected to see. I was intrigued to discover the various solutions that technology has to offer in employee monitoring as well as the wealth of legal and ethical considerations that present themselves with monitoring ones employees. It was difficult to narrow down my initial search with the cast amount of knowledge the Internet presented because, not only did I have to choose a topic I could find appropriate supporting research for, I also had to be able to find ways to expound on the topic in order to eventually produce a research topic that has breadth and depth. While in the early phases of my research, I looked at many of the first hits from the search engine. Several times Wikipedia offered lengthy explanations of concepts, definitions of technology and clarification on some of the legal and ethical considerations that surround employee monitoring. While I found Wikipedia informative, many pages have sections that state they still need citations for the information. I decided that if citations are still needed for some of the information, the information found on Wikipedia could not be used as a trusted and credible resource for my research topic. This led me to look at the citations on the bottom of the Wikipedia pages. Interestingly enough, some of the links cited on the bottom of the webpage led me to commercial online news and magazine sources.
Quickly I discovered that, for the most part, the .com websites were sites that marketed a commercial solution to employee monitoring and sites like .edu, .org, and .gov have more of an informational approach to the information contained on their websites. This discovery allowed me to parse through the responses faster as I began to narrow and focus my topic down.
By far the greatest search nugget I stumbled upon during my research was Google Scholar. Using the Google Scholar search engine, I was able to read peer reviewed articles and journal articles and link to non-commercial organizational websites as well as for profit business and advocacy websites. The Google Scholar search engine seems to focus searches to academic searches.