Employee Stress and Health Complaints in Jobs with and without Electronic Performance Monitoring

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
Applied Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 2.02). 03/1992; 23(1):17-27. DOI: 10.1016/0003-6870(92)90006-H
Source: PubMed


Current applications of electronic performance monitoring based on job design theories that consider worker performance rather than stress issues are likely to generate unsatisfying and stressful jobs (Smith et al, 1986). This study examines critical job design elements that could influence worker stress responses in an electronic monitoring context. A questionnaire survey of employees in telecommunications companies representative of each region in the United States examined job stress in directory assistance, service representative and clerical jobs with specific emphasis on the influence of electronic monitoring of job performance, satisfaction and employee health. Useable surveys were received from 745 employees representing seven operating companies and AT & T; a response rate of about 25%. The results of this survey indicated that employees who had their performance electronically monitored perceived their working conditions as more stressful, and reported higher levels of job boredom, psychological tension, anxiety, depression, anger, health complaints and fatigue. It is postulated that these effects may be related to changes in job design due to electronic performance monitoring.

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    • "Higher levels of perceived control at work are also associated with higher job satisfaction and commitment (Spector, 1986; Lee & Brand, 2005). Several researchers have linked EPM to lower feelings of control, which in turn negatively affected job and task satisfaction (Greenberger et al., 1989; Smith et al., 1992; Stanton & Barnes- Farrell 1996). Similarly, Amick and Celentano (1991) reported that machine-paced work was associated with increased perceived job demands, reduced autonomy, and reduced job satisfaction among postal workers (also see Aiello & Svec, 1993). "
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    ABSTRACT: Available at: The present study examined whether the presence of electronic performance monitoring at work would yield lower perceptions of control, job satisfaction, and commitment among part-time employees. This group of employees has not been traditionally examined in electronic monitoring research. We also tested whether the presence of electronic performance monitoring indirectly decreases citizenship behaviours and increases turnover behaviours through perceived control, satisfaction, and commitment. The sample included 208 students who worked part-time (no more than 30 hours per week). The data were collected using a two-part survey which assessed job attitudes, perceived control, intentions and behaviours, as well as type of monitoring being used in the workplace. The presence of electronic performance monitoring had a significant negative relationship with perceived control and job attitudes. Electronic monitoring indirectly predicted more self-reported turnover behaviour through perceived control, job attitudes, and intentions. The results suggest that monitoring might be an important situational factor that negatively influences employee attitudes and behaviours. The findings suggest that lower working hours within the organisation do not necessarily inure these employees to the effects of monitoring compared to their full-time colleagues, particularly when the performance standards are similarly demanding.
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    • "In the broader domain of performance monitoring, the effects of purpose are rather complicated and, it seems, not very well understood. For instance, under some circumstances it appears that monitoring increases work stress and decreases well-being (Carayon 1993; Smith et al. 1992). However, when the purpose of monitoring is developmental rather than punitive or as a deterrent, negative effects on well-being and job attitudes may be decreased, eliminated or, in some cases, reversed (Holman et al. 2002; Wells et al. 2007). "
    Journal of Business and Psychology 01/2014; 29:541-553. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    • "Critics contend that employee monitoring turn workplaces into ''electronic sweatshops'' (Alder 1998). That is why in some studies it is found that monitoring is related to elevated levels of stress, and may contribute to employee health problems (Aiello 1993; Nussbaum, and du Rivage 1986; Rogers et al., 1990; Smith et al. 1992). Because surveillance activities are found intrusive and they violate a person's right to privacy; titles of many articles published on electronic employee monitoring contain negative terms such as " Big Brother " (Oz, Glass & Behling, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge sharing in an organization is an important part of knowledge management and its success or failure will be directly related to how much knowledge could be used by employees. Unfortunately there are some de-motivators in work environment that prevent employees to share knowledge with each others. This paper intends to interrogate employee monitoring as one of the de-motivators of knowledge sharing in organizations. In an insecure work environment where employee behaviors are monitored employees may not intend to share their knowledge with others because of confidentiality, job insecurity, mistrust. Therefore, the aim of this research is to examine the relationship between organizational knowledge sharing and employee monitoring. Employees who have negative attitude against employee monitoring complained that the implementation of electronic monitoring in their workplace caused paced work, lack of involvement, reduced task variety and clarity, reduced peer social support, reduced supervisory support, fear of job loss, routinized work activity, and lack of control over tasks. It is assumed that there is a relationship between negative attitudes against employee monitoring and knowledge sharing in organizations. This empirical research is realized by surveying 122 employees in banking sector. In this study, with inspiration taken from the related studies in literature, the relationship between two variables was tried to be identified by conducting required statistical analysis of questionnaires applied to employees.
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