Monitoring Employees on Networks Unethical or Good Business? By: Francisco Rose Agenda Case Summary Ethical reasons for monitoring Fears & Problems Questions Solution Conclusion Summary of case This case seeks to address the ethics of monitoring employees use of networks or the necessity of monitoring it to improve the companies business. While a controversial subject, the cons of using companies resources for personal use far outweighs the question of ethics. What was highlighted as important is having a clearly written set of guidelines in the company’s policy , that will protect the company and reduce their expenses from employees usage and alert employees that they will be monitored so that it would not be considered unethical. What led to Monitoring Increase in computer usage Abuse of Company resources Time spent online 25% unrelated to work Company Fears Pornography Lawsuits Sports sites Retail Outlets Real Problem Email – Clogged network Online trading – On company time Productivity loss Real Problem – cont’d Availability of Company’s Bandwidth – Cost of expansion, time consuming Loss of revenue – Overcharges to clients Illegal Activities – Company can be held liable Negative publicity Questions #1 Is it ethical for employers to simply check e- mail on a fishing expedition, without having any specific reason to suspect that the employee has a problem that needs to be addressed? Question # 2 If employees complain about an undue invasion of privacy, how can management determine whether the employee’s complaints are legitimate? Question # 3 Write a rationale that would ban all employees personal use of the internet, including e-mail and the Web. Question # 4 Evaluate as an effective tool a zero tolerance position (firing of employees any time an Internet access rule is broken). If you do not believe zero tolerance is an appropriate policy, under what circumstances would you support firing an employee for using the Internet or email while on the job? Question # 5 Write what you consider to be an effective email and Web-use policy for a company. Briefly describe the company and explain your reasoning for its details. What’s the Solution? Complete Ban Restricted time of use Password access Time restriction Blocked site access Doing it Ethically! Written Guidelines – Explicit ground rules – Written consequences Tailored to specific organization – Who has the right to access Conclusion No solution is problem free! Companies need to have proper communication with employees about their specific guidelines and in return employees need to adhere to those guidelines.
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