28 November 2022

The Frank Rock Medal – Dr. Cliona McParland’s winning research

Summary of Dr. Cliona McParland’s Research for The Frank Rock Medal 2022

Dr. Cliona McParland a graduate of DCU Business School Ph.D. Programme was recently awarded the Frank Rock Medal 2022. Cliona was selected for this award by a panel of her peers representing the Learning & Development community. She received her award from Nicola O’Neill, Managing Director of Harvest in what was a lovely event in the DCU Business School on the 25th of October. Once again, we would like to congratulate Cliona on achieving her doctorate and being awarded the Frank Rock medal 2022.

The purpose of Cliona’s research was to explore the strategic and psychosocial implications of workplace digital monitoring. Specifically, her research focuses on the tensions arising from the mandatory implementation of GPS-enabled tracking technologies, empirically demonstrating how employee information privacy concerns regarding these technologies intersect with their perceptions of organisational fairness, to impact their trust and organisational commitment. Cliona’s findings provide impactful, evidence-based insights that inform our understanding of the nature and depth of employee privacy concerns, illustrating their psychological impact as well as the pathways through which they shape organisational trust and employee commitment.

These insights also provide a useful guiding framework for those seeking to develop organisational data governance policies and provide practical insights for employers and those interested in understanding how to leverage digital monitoring technologies to enhance organisational efficiency, without negatively impacting employee trust, commitment, or their psychosocial well-being.

Cliona found that management must use the technology to support employee performance, rather than inhibit their autonomous decision-making ability and ensure that concerns regarding any inadvertent unfair application of electronic monitoring is eliminated.

The judging panel found the subject of workplace digital monitoring will have far-reaching implications both on in-field and in-office roles and is very relevant to the future of work. They believe that the research will raise critical questions for organisations, and that the subject is trailblazing and will be the next DEI area for exploration, in terms of process and practice reviews.

Cliona’s reaction to the win

Due to increasing competitive pressures, organisational use of employee digital monitoring technologies is on the rise. However, the asymmetric power implications and psycho-social impacts associated with these technologies can significantly violate the psychological contract between employees and the organisation. My research provides valuable evidence- based insights that will enable organisations to employ digital monitoring technologies in a way that strengthens their relationship with employees, reducing privacy concerns and increasing organisational trust and commitment.

“I am truly honoured to receive the Frank Rock Medal 2022. As this award not only recognises the importance of translating research into creative and practical business solutions, but honours the great legacy and values of Frank Rock and his passion for supporting people and organisations in reaching their full potential, I am sincerely grateful for this recognition of my research. I sincerely thank the members of the judging panel for their recognition of the value of my research, as well as my PhD Supervisor, Prof. Regina Connolly, for her continued support with my research and career development”