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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Profiling employees online: shifting public-private boundaries in organisational life
Author(s): McDonald, Paula
Thompson, Paul
O'Connor, Peter
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Keywords: profiling
public–private boundaries
social media at work
employee privacy
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Date Deposited: 7-Jul-2016
Citation: McDonald P, Thompson P & O'Connor P (2016) Profiling employees online: shifting public-private boundaries in organisational life. Human Resource Management Journal, 26 (4), pp. 541-556.
Abstract: Profiling involves the collection and use of online information about prospective and current employees to evaluate their fitness for and in the job. Workplace and legal studies suggest an expanded use of profiling and significant legal/professional implications for HRM practitioners, yet scant attention has been afforded to the boundaries of such practices. In this study, profiling is framed as a terrain on which employees and employers assert asymmetrical interests. Using survey data from large samples in Australia and the UK, the study investigates the prevalence and outcomes of profiling; the extent that employees assert a right to privacy versus employer rights to engage in profiling; the extent that organisations codify profiling practices; and employee responses in protecting online information. The findings contribute to a small and emerging body of evidence addressing how social media conduct at work is reconstituting and reshaping the boundaries between public and private spheres. Keywords: profiling; public-private boundaries; social media at work; employee privacy
DOI Link: 10.1111/1748-8583.12121
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McDonald, P., Thompson, P., and O'Connor, P. (2016) Profiling employees online: shifting public–private boundaries in organisational life. Human Resource Management Journal, 26: 541–556, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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