ویژگی های پست الکترونیکی، انجام کار و پریشانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34071||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7972 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 61–69
The purpose of the study is to examine how e-mail affects work performance. E-mail communication studies have aroused both praise and query regarding the suitability, appropriateness and effectiveness of electronic messages in information management. Less is known about the effects of e-mail on work performance. We consider (1) which e-mail features affect work performance; (2) whether these features are differentially associated with positive (work effectiveness) or negative (stress and distress) side-effects; and (3) whether individual- and organizational-level characteristics are associated with positive and/or negative work performance. Using a secondary level analysis based on the Pew and American Life sample we show that extent, content, and increased volume of e-mail are (a) more frequently reported by managers than by non-managers (b) age, gender, marital status and education can become a critical issue (c) the amount of e-mail received and sent is positively related to work performance. These findings suggest that assessing the costs and benefits of electronic communication should cover individual features as well as e-mail-related features to assess their impact on work performance.
Information is vital to improved organizational performance. Inevitably, this has precipitated both scholars and management into the world of the “information–revolution” (Freeman & Louca, 1999) and the way that organizational agents contribute to organizational success by interpreting and using information to improve organizational competencies and performance, reinforcing the link between organizational and employee work performance (Landauer, 1995). Deriving from the premise that the more information provided to the employee the higher the level of work performance (Hogg, 2000 and Olson and Lucas, 1982), the immediacy of the channel (PCs) and the carrier (Internet) are examined in relation to work effectiveness, work stress and distress. Electronic communication is vital to accessibility, quantity, and quality of information. PCs are constantly allocated and relocated, and technology-based tools are constantly upgraded and increasingly in demand. PCs and carriers (Internet) alike are identified with effectiveness and improved organizational performance of which e-mail is considered the most satisfactory tool (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) because it is easily and quickly created, edited, stored, discarded or organized, appended and forwarded to the relevant recipients (Ducheneaut and Watts, 2005 and Olson and Lucas, 1982). The need for efficient but inexpensive modes of communication, for sharing information and knowledge (Figallo and Rhine, 2002 and Weick, 1995) generates increased electronic interaction (Gupta, Karimi, & Somers, 2000) and can, for example, improve management processes by enhancing inter-departmental communication, which may significantly affect inter-departmental relations (Lucas, 1998 and Olson and Lucas, 1982). E-mail is similarly an important communication mode when it is necessary to cover large geographic areas with a minimum increase in physical working space such as when organizations adopt virtual functioning operations and capitalize on increased electronic interaction (Gupta et al., 2000). As a result, for some, e-mail’s inherent properties (low cost, speed of communication, ease of use) and “technical neutrality” minimize potential communication distortions caused by differences in occupational, ethnic or gender characteristics of the communicators (Romm & Pliskin, 1999). However, some studies have questioned the appropriateness and effectiveness of electronic messages, and raised questions in regard to the impact of information management on employees’ wellbeing (Hogg, 2000 and Sproull and Kiesler, 1991) including work-related stress and job dissatisfaction (Ingham, 2003 and Lewis, 1999). This paper addresses the relationship between e-mail and work performance. We investigate the association between four e-mail features: (a) extent-number of people you have regular exchange of e-mail with, (b) intensity – frequency of checking e-mail before and after work, (c) content-proportion of work-related e-mails sent daily and (d) increase – the proportion of work-related e-mail recently sent and received and employees’ (a) work effectiveness, (b) work-related stress, and (c) work-related distress. All items examined here are included in the Pew and American Life data set (2002). E-mail related variables have been provided in the literature mainly in relation to the impact of information flow (Drucker, 1999, Hogg, 2000, Jackson et al., 2003b and Lewis, 1999) and information content (Belloti, Ducheneaut, Howard, Smith, & Grinter, 2005). While the literature provides information about different types of work-related content such as announcements or information that is necessary to perform one’s task the data set used here does not enable such a distinction (Hovick, Meyers, & Timmerman, 2003). Moreover, according to Taylor, Fieldman, and Altman (2008) the term work effectiveness examined here is considered as the positive aspect of performance, the one that increases the individual potential to provide more and/or better work-related outcomes. Stress and distress are, by contrast, the aspects of e-mail transactions that may have negative effects on work performance. This distinction follows previous studies suggesting that the inclusion of such items as e-mail based interactions with team members (Straus & McGrath, 1994), saving time, and being available are positive whereas use of e-mail may as well lead to undesirable effects such as disputes and misunderstanding (Friedman and Currall (2003), and a decrease in appropriate judgment based evaluations (Straus & McGrath, 1994). We content here that some characteristics of e-mail may lead to increased stress and distress (Ingham, 2003 and Pitney Bows, 2000). Moreover, in the present study we include a set of individual level characteristics. Demographic characteristics, such as age and family responsibilities, may determine how e-mail and the flow of information have positive or negative effects (Burgess et al., 2005, Oppenheim, 1997 and Sproull and Kiesler, 1991). Employees’ skills are critical to the successful management of information as well (e.g. Burke, 1996, Olson and Lucas, 1982 and Storey and Quintas, 2001). Similarly, employees’ organizational position as managers and professional skills may further influence how e-mail is evaluated either as necessary or as a burden (Belloti et al., 2005 and Bontis et al., 2002). Finally, following Taylor et al. (2008) we also introduce organizational size to partially control for some of the organizational level variation in the examined link between e-mail characteristics and work performance (Edmunds & Morris, 2000). Accordingly, we pose and try to answer the following three questions: RQ1: What features of e-mail communication affect work performance? RQ2: How are these features associated with positive (work effectiveness) and negative (stress and distress) aspects of work performance? RQ3: How are individual and organizational-level characteristics associated with positive and negative aspects of e-mail on work performance? The study thus forms an interdisciplinary link between technical and human factors, and demonstrates how this affects three facets of work performance, (i.e. effectiveness, stress, and distress1).