Electronic monitoring in public organizations: evidence from US local governments

Federica Fusi, Mary Feeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Technology use in the workplace expands the ability to monitor employees through activities such as website tracking, email scanning, and social media monitoring. Monitoring is a fundamental aspect of the relationship between organizations, employees, and stakeholders and can affect perceptions of privacy, autonomy, and trust in the workplace. However, electronic monitoring is little investigated in public management research and we have minimal knowledge about the factors that prompt public managers to adopt electronic monitoring. Focusing on small- and medium-sized US municipalities, we investigate types of electronic monitoring and how organizational, sociopolitical, and technological factors shape electronic monitoring intensity. We test our hypotheses with data from a 2014 national survey of 2,500 local managers, website coding data, and US Census data. We find that electronic monitoring, especially monitoring online activities, is a response to organizational centralization, participation of internal stakeholders, social media use, and technology concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1489
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018


  • Public management
  • local government
  • monitoring
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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