This forms part of David Zweig's dissertation research, completed in the Psychology Department of the University of Waterloo.
Where is the line between benign and invasive? An examination of psychological barriers to the acceptance of awareness monitoring systems†
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2002
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Volume 23, Issue 5, pages 605–633, August 2002
How to Cite
Zweig, D. and Webster, J. (2002), Where is the line between benign and invasive? An examination of psychological barriers to the acceptance of awareness monitoring systems. J. Organiz. Behav., 23: 605–633. doi: 10.1002/job.157
This research was funded from a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and received an award for the best HR dissertation in 2002 from the International Alliance of Human Resource Researchers (IAHRR).
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2002
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 APR 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 29 APR 2002
- Manuscript Received: 28 FEB 2001
As employees find themselves in geographically separated teams, the loss of face-to-face interaction has led to the development of new monitoring technologies that provide availability information for enhancing collaboration. Drawing on diverse literatures in electronic performance monitoring, computer supported cooperative work, privacy, and fairness, a comprehensive theoretical model of monitoring acceptance was developed to examine the effects of being monitored for availability. In the first study, over 600 employees from a large number of organizations responded to one of a variety of monitoring system characteristics. Although the model found strong support overall, results suggest that technical solutions, such as manipulating the characteristics of the awareness system, are not sufficient to ensure fairness and privacy. A second, focus group study, adds support for the theoretical model and provides an explanation for these quantitative results concerning system characteristics. Specifically, the qualitative evidence suggests that these systems can invade employees' psychological barriers - and thus manipulating the technology will only have small effects on fairness and privacy because the technology has already crossed the line from benign to invasive. The paper concludes by presenting theoretical and practical implications for the consideration of psychological boundaries in the design and use of ubiquitous monitoring and communication technologies. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.