Online from: 1971
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||Explaining engagement in personal activities on company time|
|Author(s):||Erik R. Eddy, (Department of Marketing and Management, Siena College, Loudonville, New York, USA), Caroline P. D'Abate, (Department of Management and Business, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA), Paul W. Thurston Jr, (Department of Marketing and Management, Siena College, Loudonville, New York, USA)|
|Citation:||Erik R. Eddy, Caroline P. D'Abate, Paul W. Thurston Jr, (2010) "Explaining engagement in personal activities on company time", Personnel Review, Vol. 39 Iss: 5, pp.639 - 654|
|Keywords:||Boredom, Employee involvement, Employee relations|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/00483481011064181 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore rationalizations individuals provide for engaging in personal activities on company time.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 121 survey respondents working in a variety of organizations and backgrounds. Respondents provided information on the number of times they engage in various personal activities while at work, the amount of time engaged in these activities, and their rationalizations for performing personal activities during work hours.
Findings – Results suggest that employees spend nearly five hours in a typical workweek engaged in personal activities. More than 90 per cent of this time is spent using the internet, email, phone, or conversing with co-workers. Employees use a variety of rationalizations for such behavior, but only two rationalizations (i.e. boredom and convenience) were statistically reliable predictors of the extent to which they engaged in personal activities on company time.
Practical implications – The current research finds that boredom and convenience are related to the extent that employees engage in personal activities on company time. Improvements in the work environment to reduce boredom might show a marked decrease in these behaviors, thereby mitigating the need for organizations to develop formal policies against these behaviors.
Originality/value – This is only the second quantitative study to examine the amount of time individuals spend engaged in specific personal activities on the job. It is the first quantitative exploration of the rationalizations employees use to justify these behaviors.
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