「The vice president of human resources at Climpson Industries sent the following recommendation to the company's president.
“In an effort to improve our employees' productivity, we should implement electronic monitoring of employees' Internet use from their workstations. Employees who use the Internet from their workstations need to be identified and punished if we are to reduce the number of work hours spent on personal or recreational activities, such as shopping or playing games. By installing software to detect employees’ Internet use on company computers, we can prevent employees from wasting time, foster a better work ethic at Climpson, and improve our overall profits.”」
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
It is argued that Climpson Industries should implement electronic monitoring of employees’ Internet use. The author believes that this change could prevent employees from wasting time, fosters a better work ethic, and improve the companies’ overall profits. However, the assumptions of the argument suffer a number of logical flaws.
The author expects an improvement of overall profits based on an assumption that the reduced time employees spend on personal and recreational activities creates profits that compensate for the cost of implementing the electronic monitoring system. The monitoring may require ether additional employment or technology, and as a result, there may be additional cost.
Another assumption is that employees waste time only on the Internet. As a matter of fact, the staff may waste time on matters that do not need the Internet. For instance, they may chat or read magazines. In addition, even if they use the Internet, the author cannot assume that the use of the Internet happens on the company computers. In fact, workers could use their personal devices—their personal cell-phones, laptops or tablet PCs—to circumvent the Internet monitoring at the workstations.
Even if the monitoring successfully reduces the time employees waste on personal and recreational use of the Internet, the fostering of working ethics is not guaranteed. The assumption at this point is that workers’ dedication of time is everything of work ethics. As a matter of fact, work ethics include more than how much time an employee spends on the job. For example, being meticulous and patient to the job is also part of a good work ethic. It is likely that although the staff spend all of their work hours on the job, they do not work with proper care, accuracy or patience. They may also deliberately work with low efficiency when their use of the Internet is monitored.
In addition, the overall profits are also not guaranteed. The assumption at this point is that the more time staff spend on their jobs, the greater profits they will produce. This is a questionable assumption because a companies’ profitability is subject to a number of factors, such as whether the market responds favorably to the company’s products or services, and whether the company fares on reasonable levels of cost.
Therefore, unless the author justifies all the stated and unstated assumptions above, the proposed Internet monitoring would not help achieve the predicted results.