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Technostress—defined as stress that individuals experience due to their use of Information Systems—represents an emerging phenomenon of scholarly investigation. It examines how and why the use of IS causes individuals to experience various demands that they find stressful. This paper develops a framework for guiding future research in technostress experienced by individuals in organizations. We first review and critically analyse the state of current research on technostress reported in journals from the IS discipline and the non-IS disciplines that study stress in organizations (eg, organizational behaviour and psychological stress). We then develop our framework in the form of the “technostress trifecta”—techno-eustress, techno-distress, and Information Systems design principles for technostress. The paper challenges 3 key ideas imbued in the existing technostress literature. First, it develops the argument that, in contrast to negative outcomes, technostress can lead to positive outcomes such as greater effectiveness and innovation at work. Second, it suggests that instead of limiting the role of IS to that of being a stress creator in the technostress phenomenon, it should be expanded to that of enhancing the positive and mitigating the negative effects of technostress through appropriate design. Third, it lays the groundwork for guiding future research in technostress through an interdisciplinary framing that enriches both the IS and the psychological stress literatures through a potential discourse of disciplinary exchange.
Purpose – Using email is a time-consuming activity that can increase workload stress. This paper investigates the relationship between the individual’s email load, workload stress and desired email load, drawing from the cybernetic theory of stress.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on prior theory, we first hypothesized relationships among email load, workplace stress and desired email load. We then tested these relationships on a sample of 504 full-time workers in the U.S., using survey data and covariance based structural equation modeling techniques.
Findings – We find that (1) higher email load is associated with higher workload stress; (2) higher workload stress is associated with lower desired email load; (3) lower desired email load is associated with lower email load; and (4) 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 email load, through the lens of cybernetic theory. It contributes to the email overload and technostress literatures by conceptualizing desired email load as a potential outcome of workplace stress and as a regulator for email load. For practitioners, the study highlights the importance of managing employees’ email load to prevent the negative effects of workplace stress and associated strains.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review technostress-related challenges arising out of workplace communication, for employees and organizations, and to provide suggestions for taking these challenges on.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an overview of current research and practice in the area of technostress-related challenges workplace communication.
Findings – Employees face technostress challenges relating to workplace communication in the form of technology overload, interruptions and work-home interferences. Organizations have to strike a balance between giving employees the technology they want and protecting them from these challenges. Several interventions to strike such balance are reviewed and commented on.
Practical implications – The paper gives practitioners an accessible overview of current research and practice in the area of technostress from workplace communication such as e-mail. A number of practical interventions are reviewed and commented on, which could help employees tackle such challenges.
Originality/value – Although this paper reviews state-of-the-art research, it is written in an accessible and practitioner-oriented style, which should be found valuable by readers with limited time but urgency to deal with technostress challenges arising out of workplace communication.
The use of computer-mediated communication applications can lead to workplace stress for employees. However, such stress is influenced not only by how individuals actually use computer-mediated communication applications but also how they desire to use them. This article examines how the individual's actual and desired use of communication tools together influence his or her workplace stress. It does so across a range of computer-mediated media (e.g. email or instant messaging) and workplace stressors (e.g. workload or work relationships). This investigation is conducted using a multi-method research design. The quantitative study found that desired and actual use together influenced workplace stress, mostly for email, but not for other media. The qualitative study further showed that such influence depends on organisational conditions such as available media or co-workers preferences. The findings emphasise the importance of considering the individuals’ desired use of CMC media and their subjective appraisals of different media.
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