Technology, Behavior Tracking, and the Future of Work

My dissertation examines how novel technologies, such as behavior-tracking and virtual reality tools, influence the decisions and perceptions of managers and their subordinates.

I develop and test a theoretical model suggesting that interacting with technology changes people’s focus from perceiving a situation as controlling to perceiving it as informational. I posit that interacting with technology reduces the salience of social evaluation, and as a result, attenuates the extent to which people feel controlled in a given situation. In doing so, technology enables people to perceive a situation as informational – one where they can gather information about their behaviors without feeling controlled.

I examine this in the context of behavior-tracking technologies and use a combination of field studies and laboratory experiments to develop insights about when and why employees submit to extreme monitoring. In particular, I argue that behavior-tracking technologies change people’s away focus from evaluation leading to a greater willingness to be monitored.

My dissertation is selected as a finalist in the 2017 INFORMS Best Dissertation Proposal Competition. My dissertation is currently invited for a revision at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.