E-mail load, workload stress and desired e-mail load: a cybernetic approach

Author: Stich, Jean-Francois; Tarafdar, Monideepa; Stacey, Patrick; Cooper, Cary L.

Description: Purpose: Using e-mail is a time-consuming activity that can increase workload stress. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the individual’s e-mail load, workload stress and desired e-mail load, drawing from the cybernetic theory of stress.

Design/methodology/approach: Based on prior theory, the authors first hypothesized relationships among e-mail load, workplace stress and desired e-mail load. The authors then tested these relationships on a sample of 504 full-time workers in the USA, using survey data and covariance-based structural equation modeling techniques.

Findings: The authors find that higher e-mail load is associated with higher workload stress; higher workload stress is associated with lower desired e-mail load; lower desired e-mail load is associated with lower e-mail load; and higher workload stress is associated with higher psychological strain, higher negative emotions and lower organizational commitment.

Originality/value: The study provides a novel understanding of workload stress due to e-mail load, through the lens of cybernetic theory. It contributes to the e-mail overload and technostress literatures by conceptualizing desired e-mail load as a potential outcome of workplace stress and as a regulator for e-mail load. For practitioners, the study highlights the importance of managing employees’ e-mail load to prevent the negative effects of workplace stress and associated strains.

Subject headings: Technology; Structural equation modelling; Hypothesis testing; Computer-mediated communication (CMC); E-mail; Work; Stress

Publication year: 2019

Journal or book title: Information Technology & People

Volume: 32

Issue: 2

Pages: 430-452

Find the full text: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/125829/1/ITP_Email_Load_Workload_Stress_and_Desired_Email_Load_AAM.pdf

Find more like this one (cited by): https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=6597034610188524886&as_sdt=5,26&sciodt=0,26&hl=en

Serial number: 3265

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