COMPASS| New Media, Work Boundaries, and Privacy

Opeyemi Akanbi


This article, situated in the current trend toward integrating work and nonwork, analyzes how 100 Fortune 500 companies address employee privacy in the use of new media technologies. It seeks to answer two primary questions: (1) Do companies articulate an awareness of the tendency toward the simultaneous use of devices for work and nonwork? (2) What approaches are employed in an attempt to control such use? The findings reveal that 66% of corporate codes articulate some level of tolerance for integration. Despite this general trend toward permitting employees to use company-issued devices for nonwork and personal devices for work, 53% of the companies in this study nonetheless disclaim privacy expectations by employees while 67% engage in monitoring employees’ activities. The article goes on to critique these approaches for failing to reflect social realities of work and proposes an alternative approach to employee privacy in the simultaneous use of electronic devices for work and nonwork.


new media, privacy, work, corporate codes

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