An international study of dysfunctional e-mail usage and attitudes among managers


International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management

2005, vol. 5, n°4, pp.425-436

Départements : Management et Ressources Humaines

Mots clés : Electronic communication, E-mail usage, Media attitudes, Mobile workers, Cross cultural communication, Email, Business communications, Dysfunctional behaviour, Dysfunctional attitudes, Business executives, Large firms, Human resource development, HRD, Customer relationships, Inappropriate use, Online etiquette, Etiquette.

There is a rich body of literature regarding the choice of medium for business communications. Much of this literature seeks to understand the choice and usage of, and attitudes towards, differing media. Theories about the choice of using electronic media range from symbolism, message equivocality, the distance between message partners, the number of message partners, the perceived richness of the media, and the attitudes of message recipients (Trevino et al., 2000). The past few years have seen the choice of electronic media, specifically e-mail, grow enormously. Increasingly, the advantages of e-mail seem to be linked to dysfunctional behaviour and attitudes. This study explores these questions with a survey of 750 European business executives. The survey specifically focuses on identifying dysfunctional usage and attitudes among a cross-section of managers who routinely use e-mail for their work in large firms.