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Electronic monitoring at work: The role of attitudes, functions, and perceived control for the acceptance of tracking technologies

Abstract Organisations increasingly adopt tracking technologies that allow managers to continuously collect highly detailed records of employee, performance, and health. On the basis of the theory of planned behaviour, we aim to identify attitudes, functions of monitoring, and control perceptions that should strengthen or lower employees' acceptance of these technologies. Our experimental vignette study among 800 respondents in Germany reveals that acceptance is more likely if employees have positive attitudes towards surveillance in general and towards monitoring in private life and if the technologies enhance labour productivity. The tendency to reject the technology increases if it is to be used for monitoring health and performance. The results indicate that these new technologies will not be accepted unconditionally and may be subject to bargaining and conflicts. In the implementation process, human resources departments will have to take account of employee interests and well‐being, which in turn may improve acceptance and performance.

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