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Push-pull factors and means-end chain framework of cyberloafing: a soft laddering study using LadderUX

Sauvik Kumar Batabyal (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Kanika Tandon Bhal (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023

45

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies on cyberloafing have so far not focused on the interlinkages among push factors, pull factors, consequences of actions and value orientations of the employees in a comprehensive manner. The purpose of this study is to close that gap by integrating push-pull theory with means-end chain framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a soft-laddering technique, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 Indian employees from various organizations with prior written consent. After performing the content analysis and preparation of ladders, an implication matrix and a hierarchical value map were constructed using the LadderUX tool.

Findings

“Upholding conversational conformity,” “achieving efficiency through noise cancellation,” “addressing occasional requirements,” “social networking as a coping mechanism,” “staying informed and sharing opinions,” “attempting job or profile alteration” and “fulfilling transactional obligations” turned out to be the seven prominent means-end chain patterns, with their respective push-pull factors, consequences and value orientations. This study also suggested the multifaceted character of cyberloafing in a continuum, from “serious-destructive” to “minor-positive” to “facilitative-productive.”

Research limitations/implications

This study has been conducted by focusing on cyberloafing at physical workplaces and not in the context of distributed work environments.

Practical implications

The findings of this study will enable organizations to frame an appropriate set of guidelines to control this behavior.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to integrate the push-pull theory and means-end chain framework to explore the nuances of cyberloafing among employees.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their gratitude to the editors and anonymous reviewers for providing valuable feedback. The authors would also like to thank Peerwith (www.peerwith.com) for native English language editing.

Citation

Batabyal, S.K. and Bhal, K.T. (2023), "Push-pull factors and means-end chain framework of cyberloafing: a soft laddering study using LadderUX", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 143-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-05-2022-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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