Discussion: Compensation or Rewards

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Discussion: Compensation or Rewards

Discussion: Compensation or Rewards

Information Systems and Management Control Systems

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or worse, find ways to ensure that data recorded are inaccurate, falsified, or untimely. Collecting monitoring data directly from work tasks—or embedding the creation and storage of performance information into software used to perform work—renders the data more reliable.

A large number of software products are available for companies to monitor employees. Software monitoring products are installed by companies to get specific data about what employees are doing. This information can help ensure that work is being performed correctly. It can also be used to avoid barriers to employee productivity from “cyberslacking” and “cyberslouching.”11 The intention may seem both ethical and in the best interest of business, but in practice, the reverse may actually be true. In many cases, employees are not informed that they are being monitored or that the information gleaned is being used to measure their productivity. In these cases, monitoring violates both privacy and personal freedoms. Managers need to take into account employee privacy rights and try to balance their right to privacy against the needs of the business to have surveillance mechanisms in place.

Performance Measurement, Evaluation, and Information Systems IS make it possible to evaluate actual performance data against reams of standard and historical data, often by using models and simulations. Analytics and big data tools have changed the way many companies use data to make decisions. Managers can more easily and completely understand work progress and performance. In fact, the ready availability of so much information catches some managers in “analysis paralysis”: analyzing too much or too long. In our example of the call center, a manager can compare an employee’s output to that of colleagues, to earlier output, and to historical outputs reflecting similar work conditions at other times. Even though evaluation consti- tutes an important use of IS, how the information is used has significant organizational consequences. Information collected for evaluation may be used to provide feedback so that the employee can improve personal performance; it also can be used to determine rewards and compensation. The former use—for improvement in performance—is nonthreatening and generally welcomed.

Using the same information for determining compensation or rewards, however, can be threatening. Suppose a call center manager is evaluating the number and duration of calls that service representatives answer on a given day. The manager’s goal is to make sure all calls are answered quickly, and he communicates that goal to his staff. Now think about how the evaluation information is used.

If the manager simply provides the employees with information, then the evaluation is not threatening. If han- dled this way, employees might respond by improving their call numbers and duration. A discussion may even occur in which the service representative highlights other important considerations, such as customer satisfaction and quality. Perhaps the representative takes longer than average on each call because she believes that the attention devoted to the customer would result in higher customer satisfaction.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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