Reconceptualizing E-mail Overload
Thomas, Gail Fann
King, Cynthia L.
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This study explores social processes associated with e-mail overload, drawing on Sproull and Kiesler's first- and second-order effects of communication technologies and Boden's theory of lamination. In a three-part study, the authors examined e-mail interactions from a government organization by logging e-mails, submitting an e-mail string to close textual analysis, and analyzing focus group data about e-mail overload. The requests reveal three characteristics that contribute to e-mail overload- unstable requests, pressures to respond, and the delegation of tasks and shifting interactants - suggesting the e-mail talk, as social interaction, may both create and affect overload.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1050651906287253
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