A meta-analytic examination of cyberloafing

Mercado, B.K., Giordano, C., & Dilchert, S.
Career Development International, 22(5), 546-564.

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. 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. 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.