Employee reactions to internet monitoring: The moderating role of ethical orientation

Research has demonstrated that employee reactions to monitoring systems depend on both the characteristics of the monitoring system and how it is implemented. However, little is known about the role individual differences may play in this process. This study proposes that individuals have generalized attitudes toward organizational control and monitoring activities. We examined this argument by assessing the relationship between employees’ baseline attitudes toward a set of monitoring and control techniques that span the employment relationship. We further explore the effects of employees’ generalized attitudes toward monitoring and their individual ethical orientations on their attitudinal reactions to an Internet monitoring system implemented in their workplace. Results of a longitudinal study indicate that as expected, prior beliefs and ethical orientation interact to affect employees’ reactions to monitoring systems. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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