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Employers access to employee's emails, Ethical or Not?

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Sam M.
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  1. Introducton
  2. Description
  3. Conclusion

The arrival of new technology has raised a number of new issues for managers and leaders. One of these concerns is the surveillance of employees to check for disciplinary infringements. During recent years, employers all over the world have implemented a number of programs and initiatives regarding this issue. The use of emails for personal purposes, for example, can distract employees, reducing their concentration on their job tasks. This can significantly affect concentration, which, in turn, can have a negative impact in both the organization and the employee's professional performance, as it can reduce its productivity. To tackle these concerns, management teams have implemented a number of methods to monitor employee to ensure that organization aims are attained. One of these methods are the systematic monitoring of staff emails.

The emergence of this method has become very controversial. The ethical issues are related to this managerial move that have become the focus of the media during recent years. The implications of this approach to employee surveillance have been the subject of extensive debate for both social and political commentators. Most of these discussions evidence the existence of a dichotomy between the rights of employees and the rights of employers. Numerous commentators have highlighted the need to ensure that these methods result into a breach of the employee's right to privacy, as this basic right should be respected at all times by their employers. On the opposite side of the debate's gradient, various analysts have argued that employers have a right to know what their employees actually do during working times, to ensure that they are effectively carrying out their job duties.

[...] Employers access to employee's emails, Ethical or Not? The arrival of new technology has raised a number of new issues for managers and leaders. One of these concerns is the surveillance of employees to check for disciplinary infringements. During recent years, employers all over the world have implemented a number of programs and initiatives regarding this issue. The use of emails for personal purposes, for example, can distract employees, reducing their concentration on their job tasks. This can significantly affect concentration, which, in turn, can have a negative impact in both the organization and the employee's professional performance, as it can reduce its productivity. [...]


[...] Harper and Row, New York. Miller, S. (2000) "Privacy, the Workplace and the Internet ", in Journal of Business Ethics. In Volume 28, pp. 255-265. Miller, S. Guarding the Guards: The Right to Privacy, and Workplace Surveillance and Monitoring in Policing, in Weckert, J., ed. (2005) Electronic Monitoring In The Workplace: Controversies And Solutions. Melboune: Idea Group Publishing Mirchandani, D. and J. Motwani (2003). Reducing Internet Abuse in the Workplace, in SAM Advance Management Journal. Volume 68. Number 1. Pierce, M., and Henry, J. [...]

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