Business ethics, as a subject, raises a lot of concern in the business entities. Clear demarcations on the boundaries within which ethics is exercised guides all the stakeholders of an organization. The tremendous changes and innovations taking place in technology have brought to attention new issues between managers and employees. Inception and adoption of new technologies are a challenge to the practicing of ethics at workplaces since it is not clear which set of legal, moral and social principles can help govern organizations. The hitherto common practices are no longer sufficient because of emerging ethical dilemmas (Bassick, McNamara, and Sullivan, 2008).
Employee surveillance is on the increase. Communication devices like CCTV cameras and trackers enable managers to monitor their employees more than ever. Surveillance of the employees has caused a lot of uproar. The disquiet resulting from employee surveillance is attributable to the fact that employees feel that their privacy is under threat. They feel that their personal life inside and outside the workplace is interfered by the surveillance (Knights, 2006).
Ethical theories support the limitation of employee surveillance at the workplace. Perception of the employees on the issue is quite different from that of the employers. Employers think that the monitoring simply assists them to enforce their administrative authority in an organization. Surveillance thus provides employers with the parameters to gauge employee productivity (Persson, 2003). Regardless of the divergent opinions, surveillance and privacy must be balanced.
The author is of the opinion that employees have an inalienable right to privacy. Based on the ethical grounds, privacy is necessary to every employee. Surveillance by employers is uncalled for since ethical principles for employees are pegged on organizational values. Virtues allow employees conduct to, always, remain consistent and in line with the ethical principles (Bassick, McNamara and Sullivan, 2008).
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