Computing Reviews

Effects of organizational controls on employees’ cyber-loafing: the moderating effects of trait mindfulness
Luo X., Xu F., Zhang J., Xiao S., Xue B. ACM SIGMIS Database5361-79,2022.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: 03/15/23

The problem addressed here is reducing cyper-loafing via organizational controls. The two controls considered are computer monitoring and Internet usage policy. The general conclusion is that the effectiveness of these controls depends highly on the user’s personal characteristics, particularly trait mindfulness (trait mindfulness is basically being attentive to what is happening in the immediate place and time.)

Controls are generally less effective for people with high trait mindfulness. In fact, computer monitoring tends to increase cyper-loafing. One cause of cyper-loafing is automaticity, that is, unconsciously starting an activity. Trait mindfulness is associated with less automaticity toward cyper-loafing. The data was collected from 450 respondents in China, about evenly divided female/male and nearly all college educated.

Cyper-loafing appears to reduce productivity and can create security risks. The paper includes an extensive list of references and elaborate statistical analysis. It indicates that the potential harm and ways of moderating it seem to be dependent on individual user personality traits.

Luo et al. draw attention to an important problem. However, it would have been easier to read if it were condensed. Certainly, much more work is needed to understand how to match controls to users. This paper is a start.

Reviewer:  B. Hazeltine Review #: CR147562

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