Garrett, R. K. & Danzinger, J.N. (2008). On cyberslacking: Workplace status and personal internet use at work. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11(3), pp.287-292

Link to Article:

This is the 'pop-culture' article regarding organizational communication and technology I found interesting.

This brief article examined the correlation between workplace status and the use of workplace computers and internet connections for personal browsing, or “cyberslacking”. Cyberslacking is often viewed as a work-avoidance tactic, and was previously associated with lower-level employees with little affinity to the organization or their own work. However, there were no empirical research studies to test the relationship between status and cyberslacking.

Researchers sent a survey to businesses and organizations throughout the United States, and received 1,024 usable responses, representing a broad range of occupations and business sectors. The survey included questions regarding gender, work status/title, income, autonomy and education. The results were analyzed to create viable connections between workplace internet use and status.
The research indicates that employees who ranked higher on the four measures of status—occupational classification, autonomy, household income and education—were associated with more frequent personal internet use during work. Additionally, men are more likely than women to use the internet for personal reasons during work. However, there was no difference between men and women in using the internet for communication purposes, for example, sending personal emails, during work hours.

This research is significant as it displays behavior by managers that could possibly trickle down through lower level employees. If management sees no problem using workplace internet for personal reasons, employees may feel the same entitlement. Furthermore, there is additional research that has begun to promote cyberslacking in the same light as power napping; a way in which employees can take a break and re-energize during the workday and perhaps even increase productivity because they are taking care of problems that may otherwise cause distractions. While most organizations have internet use policies in place, it would seem that if management is allowed to ignore the policies, and not lower level employees, there could be job dissatisfaction and discord among employees and management.