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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Surveillance Changes Behavior: A Restaurant Workers Case Study

Today's post was shared by Andrew McAfee and comes from bits.blogs.nytimes.com


Employee theft and fraud are huge problems in the restaurant industry, which has low wages and high worker turnover.
Dave Kaup for The New York Times
Employee theft and fraud are huge problems in the restaurant industry, which has low wages and high worker turnover.
Surveillance is certainly much in the news lately. Most notably, of course, there is the continuing outcry over the National Security Agency’s call-tracking program, disclosed in the documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

But surveillance even surfaced as a subject in last week’s televised debate among the Democratic candidates for mayor in New York. The office seekers were asked whether New York City should have more surveillance cameras. Six of the seven, card-carrying liberals all, replied without hesitation, yes. (Only Anthony Weiner said no.)
Most of the public discussion of surveillance technology and its use revolves around the question: Is it spooky or reassuring?

But another issue is the effect of surveillance on behavior. And a new research paper, published on Saturday, shows in detail how significant the surveillance effect can be.

The paper, “Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity,” is the work of three academics: Lamar Pierce, an associate professor at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis; Daniel Snow, an associate professor at the Marriott School at Brigham Young University; and Andrew McAfee, a research scientist at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The researchers...
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