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    Understanding e-mail overload

    Vidgen, Richard and Sims, Julian and Powell, Philip (2011) Understanding e-mail overload. Journal of Communication Management 15 (1), pp. 84-98. ISSN 1363-254X.

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    Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate the impact of e-mail on individuals and organizations and to provide a framework that frames e-mail management as a complex and multi-stranded issue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a multi-dimensional appraisal of e-mail use in organisations and introduces a management framework as a practical tool to enact change and organisational learning. The approach uses Lee's five central concepts for understanding hermeneutics: distanciation; autonomization; appropriation; social construction; and enactment, applying these to the problem of e-mail overload. Findings – This paper contributes to the theoretical understanding of e-mail use in organisations, and develops a practitioner toolkit for enacting change in e-mail use. This work uses hermeneutics and an interpretive framework to investigate the impact of e-mail on organisations, employing concepts from Ricoeur, Gadamer, Habermas, and Klein. Research limitations/implications – Future research could evaluate the effectiveness of e-mail performance improvement programmes using a mix of research methods including surveys of e-mail attitudes and analysis of e-mail readability and language analysis. Practical implications – The paper introduces an e-mail management framework that is a practical tool that can be used to enact change and organisational learning Social implications – Implementation could lead to improved communication; improved visibility of the informal organizational network, knowledge sharing, and action network; business process improvement; improved knowledge management; and increased employee morale. Originality/value – The paper shows how actors may choose to enact emancipation from e-mail oppression by taking deliberate action to reconstruct the environment in which they exist in an inquiry-change cycle of organisational learning by implementing an e-mail management framework.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Electronic mail, Knowledge management, Stress
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 12:28
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:02


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