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Title: The use of electronic surveillance and performance measures in the workplace : a qualitative investigation
Author: Reilly, Simon Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 2688 8458
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2010
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Electronic workplace surveillance takes many forms. It includes CCTV, recording telephone conversations, employee ID cards, and electronically gathering and measuring work performance. The increased incidences of electronic surveillance have had a number of effects on employees. This research concentrated on the use of quantified electronic performance measurement. It specifically examined the impact on managers and managing. It examined surveillance from an employment relationship perspective, taking as its primary lens that of exchange and exchange theory. The research demonstrated that the exchange relationships managers have with other managers, workers, or employers, as part of the psychological contract, is being compromised. Managers feel under pressure to manage based on the surfeit of electronic measures rather than by using innate or acquired management skills. Many managers in this research are no longer managers in the conventional sense; instead, they have become “Performance Intermediary Executives” invariably reliant on a plethora of electronic measures provided for them to help them manage successfully. Managers have also started questioning the equitable nature of the psychological contract between them and their employer/line manager. The result of this equity disjuncture was made manifest by the subtle forms of resistance used on a daily basis. Managers are being led down a managerial path leading to further resistance and inequitable employment and exchange relationships. This research suggests that claimed improvements in performance and performance management using electronic surveillance could be wiped out by poor and de-professionalised management. Organisations should be aware that surveillance for surveillance sake is not necessarily always the best way forward. Electronic workplace surveillance is not intrinsically all good or all bad, but judging from the findings in this research, its impact is broadly perceived by managers negatively, which is not good for all parties in the employment relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available