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Mercado publishes article on 'cyberloafing' in Career Development International

Research co-authored by Assistant Professor Brittany Mercado presents a meta-analytical investigation of cyberloafing. 

Brittany Mercado, assistant professor of management in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, co-authored the article titled “A meta-analytic investigation of cyberloafing” which was recently published in Career Development International.

The research defines cyberloafing as using technology to idle instead of work. Mercado and co-authors Casey Giordano, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Stephan Dilchert, Baruch College-CUNY, quantitatively summarized the growing literature on cyberloafing and highlighted promising areas for future research. Results indicated that boredom, engagement and self-control are strongly associated with cyberloafing, as are employees’ attitudes surrounding and opportunities to engage in cyberloafing.

The article’s abstract reads:

Cyberloafing, using technology to idle instead of work, is a particularly concerning issue for many organizations due to its perceived widespread impact on productivity. The purpose of this paper is to meta-analytically examine the growing literature on this construct in order to gain insights into its nomological network and guide future research.

After a systematic literature search, the authors conducted psychometric meta-analyses to estimate the relationships of 39 different correlates with cyberloafing. The meta-analytic database was comprised of 54 independent samples contributing 609 effect sizes.

Results indicate that boredom, engagement and self-control exhibit strong relationships with cyberloafing, but employees’ attitudes surrounding and opportunities to engage in cyberloafing also proved powerful predictors. Contrary to common stereotypes, age and other demographic variables exhibited negligible effects. Employment variables (e.g. tenure, organization level, and income) were also negligibly related to cyberloafing. Emotional stability, conscientiousness, and agreeableness exhibited modest negative relationships with cyberloafing, whereas self-control demonstrated a strong negative relationship. Although cyberloafing strongly correlated with overall counterproductive work behaviors, the findings suggest it is unrelated to other components of job performance.

Research limitations/implications
Because the cyberloafing literature is in its early stages, the present study drew on a limited number of samples for several of the relationships analyzed. Rather than providing conclusive evidence of the nomological network of cyberloafing, these analyses reinforce the need for empirical investigation into several important relationships.

As the first quantitative review of the emerging cyberloafing literature, this study synthesizes related studies from disparate disciplines, examines the nomological network of cyberloafing, and highlights future directions for research into this phenomenon.

Mercado joined Elon in August 2017. Her research centers on predicting and conceptualizing counterproductive work behaviors. She is also highly interested in measurement issues and bias in employment decisions. Mercado holds a doctorate in management from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College-CUNY, an International M.B.A. from Florida International University, and SHRM-CP certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. 

Career Development International provides a platform for research in careers and development that deal with questions of theories and theory development, as well as with organizational career strategy, policy and practice.

Olivia Hays,
10/23/2017 3:05 PM