Information technology, privacy, and power within organizations: A view from boundary theory and social exchange perspectives

Jeffrey M. Stanton, Kathryn R. Stam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over recent years, information technology has played an increasingly important role in the monitoring and surveillance of worker behavior in organizations. In this article, we take the position that managers, workers, and information technology professionals alike see worker-related information as a valuable organizational resource and that processes of social exchange influence how this information resource is controlled. These suppositions are woven together by joining two theories, information boundary theory, a motivational framework for examining privacy at work, and social exchange theory, which provides a perspective on social networks and social power. After discussing these two frameworks and how they might be interlaced, we analyze a corpus of semi -structured interviews with 119 managers, employees, and IT professionals that explored questions of privacy, motivation, and power in six not-for-profit organizations that were undergoing technology-driven change with potential for increased monitoring and surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-190
Number of pages39
JournalSurveillance and Society
Volume1
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Urban Studies

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