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Dissertation Abstract

What Organizational Leaders Need to Know to Manage Those Organizational Practices Employees Perceive as Invasive or an Invasion of Privacy


Lisa M. Renz
September 2012


Organizational practices that are invasive or perceived as invasive can be costly to organizations not only from possible litigation but also from negative effects experienced by employees. Leaders have reported invasion of privacy as their greatest concern (M. R. Overly, personal communication, October 19, 2011). It has been predicted that privacy-related lawsuits will surpass wrongful terminations in the 21st century (Fair Measures, 2011). The findings from this research provide leaders with insight into employees’ attitudes and beliefs about organizational practices. These findings provide leaders with information so they can better manage organizational practices that are likely to be perceived as invasive. This research used the qualitative method to examine the factors that would lead employees of private organizations to believe an organization’s practices were invasive or an invasion of privacy and to pursue litigation. Research was conducted using face-to-face semistructured interviews. Subjects in this research previously experienced invasive organizational practices. This research used the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) as the foundation for predicting intentional behavior. Using Moustakas’ (1994) modification of the Van Kaam method of analysis, six salient factors and nine subfactors were identified as factors that led subjects to believe an organization’s practices were invasive, five factors were identified that impacted their decision to pursue litigation, and four essences emerged. The study identified many physical and emotional changes in state that have not been previously reported in the literature. Long-term effects experienced by subjects and significant others were also identified.