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An eye on your work: how empowerment affects the relationship between electronic surveillance and counterproductive work behaviours


Martin, AJ and Wellen, JM and Grimmer, MR, An eye on your work: how empowerment affects the relationship between electronic surveillance and counterproductive work behaviours, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27, (21) pp. 2635-2651. ISSN 0958-5192 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited

DOI: doi:10.1080/09585192.2016.1225313


Attitudes towards surveillance in the workplace play an important role in determining whether surveillance systems and practices have a positive or negative impact on work behaviour. A survey study of employed Australians (n = 406) was used to test a model in which attitudes towards workplace surveillance were hypothesised to mediate the relationship between perceived level of surveillance at work and counterproductive work behaviours (CWBs). In accordance with expectations, higher levels of perceived surveillance were associated with more CWB, and this relationship was mediated by attitudes towards surveillance. We also theorised that work empowerment may act as a potential buffer against the impact of unfavourable surveillance attitudes on CWBs. Support was also found for this hypothesis as unfavourable surveillance attitudes were not associated with adverse work behaviour among employees who reported higher levels of work empowerment. We discuss how work design and leadership practices can be utilised to build a sense of empowerment in relation to employees’ work with the aim of attenuating some of the potentially negative effects of high levels of surveillance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:counterproductive work behaviours, surveillance attitudes, work empowerment, workplace surveillance
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Human resources management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Martin, AJ (Professor Angela Martin)
UTAS Author:Wellen, JM (Dr Jackie Wellen)
UTAS Author:Grimmer, MR (Professor Martin Grimmer)
ID Code:111717
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2016-10-03
Last Modified:2018-03-29

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