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The impact of e-mail usage on knowledge workers’ perceived control of time: a three phases mixed methods approach
Lin, Sheng Wei
Huang, Eugenia Y.
Lin, Sheng Wei
E-mail usage behavior
E-mail-specific time management behavior
Perceived control of time
E-mail management training
|Issue Date: ||2016-05-09 15:18:42 (UTC+8)|
At the high widespread rate of the Internet era, the time spent on the Internet among knowledge workers has gradually increased. Because of this trend, these people have spent an alarming proportion of their work time on message communications tools, such as emails. Problems arising from e-mail management make users helpless particularly when they have to deal with information overload. Problems caused by inefficient e-mail use would directly/ indirectly affect the time resource, inevitably increasing time pressure to the workers. Therefore, it is essential for knowledge workers to understand how to use e-mail efficiently to heighten their productivity.
This study adopted Creswell’s three-phases mixed methods to investigate our research issues. First, this study investigates the e-mail usage behavior of knowledge workers through an in-depth literature review and a focus group discussion. Then, a sample survey method, along with a social cognitive theory and a goal setting theory, was adopted to investigate how personality affects perceived control of time in the context of e-mail handling. The third phase includes a quasi-experimental field study carried out in an organizational setting to examine the effects of an e-mail management training program on e-mail self-efficacy, e-mail-specific time management behavior, and time control over e-mail use.
The important findings in phase one include : 1) people are ruled by e-mail, but they think otherwise; 2) in daily usage, many weaknesses of e-mail are turned into strengths; 3) an information system background does not necessarily lead to sophistication in using e-mail tools; 4) e-mail is regarded as a print medium rather than an interactive medium; 5) e-mail to a large extent replaces face-to-face communication in the workplace; 6) e-mail users use the carbon copy and forwarding features habitually and not out of necessity; 7) users do not usually handle work-related and personal e-mail messages separately; and 8) users seek opportunities to learn about e-mail functionality out of convenience, but these are not attained with ease. A contrast between these findings and conventional wisdom concludes this study. In addition, we also conclude efficient e-mail usage approaches in this phase and develop the questionnaire for the next stage.
Based on data collected from 251 knowledge workers in second phase, the results show that personality predicts perceived control of time in e-mail handling and work through both e-mail-specific time management behavior and e-mail self-efficacy. In addition, higher e-mail self-efficacy leads to improved e-mail-specific time management behavior.
The field experiment in third phase includes 280 subjects, with 175 subjects in the experimental group, and 105 subjects in the control group, the ANCOVA results show that, after the training, the subjects exhibited greater e-mail self-efficacy and better time control over e-mail use but not paid more attention to e-mail-specific time management behavior According to the study reported here, this employee training program leads to a perceived time saving of about 17%.
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|Source URI: ||http://thesis.lib.nccu.edu.tw/record/#G0933565021|
|Data Type: ||thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||[資訊管理學系] 學位論文|
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