Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Internet Work/Play Balance

Internet Work/Play Balance
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Author(s): Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon (Illinois State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch348


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Productivity gain can be achieved through utilitarian use of the Internet. Networked organizations foster intra- and interorganizational communications, which amplify team collaborations, information sharing, and relationship building. The Internet also provides linkage to external global information sources, allowing organizations to analyze market trends, predict competitors’ movements, and search for competitive advantages. However, Internet usage in the workplace is also a double-edged sword that can bring liabilities to modern workplaces. Employees can utilize their Internet connectivity and e-mail accounts for a variety of purposes. Publicized cases of Internet abuse in the workplace (i.e., pornography, employee harassment, information leakage, software piracy, etc.) have generated different ethical and legal concerns for many organizations. To prevent such occurrences, practitioners utilize several strategies to deter Internet abuses (e.g., training of proper Internet usage, communicating Internet usage policy, installing Internet monitoring, and filtering software, etc.). These strategies have been effective against such behaviors, but they often decrease employees’ job satisfaction and motivation. Understanding the underlying determinants of workplace Internet usage can bring balance to organizational work and play, and allow practitioners to apply the most effective Internet usage policies to increase job satisfaction. A feasible balance between proper behavioral controls and employee motivation is attainable through the equilibrium of organizational and individual psycho-socio-technical factors. The ultimate goal of this balance is to maintain and improve employee satisfaction and organizational well-being. To identify the appropriate balance, this article examines different perceptions of Internet usage activities and suggests three Internet management strategies.

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