‘The kids are alert’: Generation Y responses to employer use and monitoring of social networking sites

This seminar is part of the ERI’s Seminar Series

Time and Place
Thursday 25 May 2017, 1pm-2pm
Room 1/08, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus

Dr Scott Hurrell (University of Glasgow) with Prof. Dora Scholarios (University of Strathclyde) and Dr. James Richards (Heriot-Watt University).

Employer monitoring of employees’ and job applicants’ social networking site (SNS) data is widespread and growing, but remains ethically, legally, and efficaciously controversial. Examining this emergent source of tension in the employment relationship, this paper explores how Generation Y employees experience and perceive employer use and monitoring of SNSs, and whether employer-related concerns influenced their online behaviour.

A survey of 385 employed students revealed widespread SNS engagement among respondents, with many experiencing some form of employer SNS use. Employer SNS use was, however, generally perceived negatively. Negativity took the form of procedural justice violations based on issues such as invasion of privacy. Nevertheless, many students displayed alertness through actively managing online profiles which, in turn, marginally yet significantly increased their justice perceptions. The study has ethical and practical implications for employer monitoring and use of SNSs, as well as contributing to our understanding of young people’s online behaviour.

The seminar is free to attend. Please RSVP Dr Gavin Maclean (g.maclean@napier.ac.uk)

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