Crossman, Alf School of Management, University of Surrey, UK e-mail: email@example.com
Lee-Kelley, Liz School of Management, University of Surrey, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract This paper presents a conceptual discussion on the growing management practice of introducing surveillance technologies into the workplace. It considers the growth of surveillance in broader society (and the growing enthusiasm for watching the behaviour of others as entertainment) and relates this to the psychological contract. The paper invites debate on the impact of overt and covert surveillance policies and practices on the psychological contract, in particular on the possible violation of trust assumptions between workers and employers. It concludes by suggesting that HRM has a definite role to play in balancing control and cooperation. Keywords: Employee commitment, control, psychological contract, surveillance.
Introduction The Internet and other communication technologies build cyber-bridges across (and between) nations, cultures, communities and businesses. Verbal and visual images of world events such as the 11th September, 2001 bombings in the US (which for many is seen as a watershed and after which life may never be quite the same again), the tidal wave of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the more recent Madrid bombing in March 2004 were communicated across the world in a matter of minutes. Likewise, it has a darker side when terrorists and other miscreants determined on undesirable or coercive behaviour are also known to have capitalised on technology’s connectivity. In the workplace, there is an increasing, almost obsessive, fear of industrial espionage and employee betrayal. Against this backdrop of rising environmental uncertainty and turbulence, Demb and Neubauer’s (1992)
2 far-sighted suggestion of a more direct approach to governance that... [continues]
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