Work Ethic Differences Between Traditional and Telework Employees

Work Ethic Differences Between Traditional and Telework Employees

Ruth A. Guthrie (University of Redlands, USA) and James B. Pick (University of Redlands, USA)
Copyright: © 1998 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.1998100104
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Abstract

Over the past five years, reports on the gains associated with telework have been remarkable (Murphy, 1996; Hesse, et. al., 1991). Productivity can be increased by 30%, workers are more satisfied with their jobs and telework could reduce traffic and pollution problems. However, there is also research that speaks about the resistance to telework. Firms are reluctant to adopt telework programs and employees are reluctant to give up traditional work structures (Handy & Mokhtarian, 1995). Part of this reluctance can be described in terms of ethics and evolving behavioral norms. Telework is posing new questions about rules of conduct, work ethic and work privacy Kurland (1996). This study examines ethical scenarios that arise in telework environments. This study reports the ethical attitudes of 134 Los Angeles area managers and professionals on telecommuting scenarios. Eighteen ethical scenarios, Table 2, relating to freedom of work ethic, work place monitoring, compensation, work and family, and equity were posed. Results of the survey show that organizational level, telecommuting experience and gender issues do not strongly influence ethical decisions in the given scenarios. People at lower organizational levels do not appear to be any more traditional in their view on telework than people at higher organizational levels. People who had telecommuting experience were no more liberal in their work ethic views than those without telecommuting experience.

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