Employee personal Internet usage in the workplace
Published inJyväskylä studies in computing
Information technology (IT) devices connected to the Internet, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, have become pervasive in the workplace. These IT devices have greatly facilitated the performance of job tasks for employees. At the same time, employees are increasingly using these technologies for non-work-related purposes during office hours, which is called personal Internet usage in the workplace (PIU). Examples of PIU include, but are not limited to, checking and sending non-work-related emails, surfing news sites, visiting social network sites, e-banking, stock trading, and online shopping, chatting, and gaming. Previous studies on PIU present two schools of thought on PIU outcomes. Negative PIU studies see PIU as decreasing employees’ job performance by stealing their work time. In contrast, positive PIU studies see PIU as enhancing employees’ productivity, social capital, learning ability, and creative performance, which may eventually improve their job performance as well. However, it is unknown from previous studies the conditions under which PIU is likely to result in a positive or negative impact on employees’ job performance. Further, although Internet monitoring has been widely adopted by organizations to regulate employees’ PIU, it is not known from previous studies the impact of Internet monitoring on employees’ various behaviors and perceptions. This dissertation, consisting of two studies, attempts to address the two issues above. In study 1, we conducted a literature review of PIU and examined the state-of-the-art research on PIU as well as research gaps in existing PIU literature; next, we developed a theoretical model to understand the conditions under which PIU is likely to positively or negatively affect employees’ job performance. In study 2, we conducted a field experiment to examine how Internet monitoring, a PIU policy which has been widely adopted by organizations, affects employees’ PIU behaviors, policy satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). This dissertation has important implications for employees with respect to understanding the impact of PIU on their job performance, and for organizations in terms of developing and implementing better policies to avoid the disadvantages of PIU without sacrificing its benefits. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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