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Organizational Impact Of Electronic Monitoring Technology

2079 words - 9 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Take for example the advantages of video surveillance. Cameras are a cheap, yet effective option for companies that wish to prevent and deter thief, while also enforcing worker code compliance.Most importantly, managers are concerned with lost productivity, since that aspect of the organization will most directly affect their profitability and competitiveness. "Monitoring is used to ensure order, discipline and greater productivity" (Levy). Being able to get and give feedback on, and identify, the progress and problems experienced by individuals and work-groups is sure to improve worker efficiency. Workers may even benefit from the objective appraisals and feedback that may result from this form of review. Overall, by being able to identify problems related to personal or the work process, organizations may increase efficiency, reduce costs, and better control the quality of the product being manufactured or service provided. However, if electronic monitor is not properly implement all these benefits will be negated, and equal a net loss for the organization. No amount of money or security can long sustain a work environment that disregards and severely damages the physical and psychological wellbeing of its workers. Workers who are dissatisfied in their jobs will have low performance, regardless of the material rewards.There are many negative consequences associated with the use of electronic surveillance. These effects are felt by both the workers and the organization on the whole. Workers may feel "these systems to be highly invasive and unfair", leading to anxiety, stress, and an unsatisfying work experience and environment (Zweig). Constant supervision can result in many physical and psychological disorders, especially if the purpose of the electronic surveillance is to drive workers harder, by threat of force (punitive measures). When used in this way, workers react hostilely and destructively. They will undermine order and generally be undisciplined, since they are resisting a form of forced labor that undermines their dignity and pride. The consequences of this form of monitoring will have a profoundly negative impact on the organization.A specific organizational structure that would be impacted by the introduction of electronic monitoring technology would be formalization. If surveillance is conducted without warning, or covertly against employees, an environment of mistrust, suspicion, and fear will likely lead to a breakdown in relations between management and employees. Consequently, worker morale will impact productivity and overall competitiveness of the organization. The organization will have to adapt or face certain decline and death. One way of adapting is to disclose, or formally communicate to workers the rationale, intent, and means by which electronic monitoring will be integrated into the workplace.Since motivation is tied to worker performance and organizational productivity, any major impact on worker motivation should...

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