Institution Granting Degree
This descriptive case study explored the role of e-mail on information overload in organizational managers. Conducting research at two international organizations in Central Virginia, the researcher surveyed 73 managers, conducted in-depth interviews with 12 managers, and completed an organizational records review of e-mail messages sent and received. The quantitative data were analyzed using the Pearson cl1rrelation coefficient to discover relationships between each of three subscales: the presence and perceived value of e-mail, resistance to information technology, and the experience of information overload. An independent t-test examined the responses of men and women. Those data revealed no statistically significant relationships between the variables and no statistically significant differences between men and women in their experience of information overload.
Qualitative data collected from interviews, however, disclosed that some managers did feel overloaded with information, although e-mail often helped to alleviate some of the stress from overload. Others claimed not to experience such overload from e-mail; factors that distinguished between these two responses include experience with information technology and time spent as a manager. The records review confirmed the numbers of e-mail messages sent and received by managers at the two organizations.
Lessons learned from this study include the importance of evolving technology, technologically experienced managers, usage guidelines, and training in the effective use of e-mail technology. The research suggests a starting point for future studies into that technology and the effects that it may have on individuals who must use it regularly.