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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 11 The data of the diary survey contains 1792 email messages. Of this total sample, 683 email messages (38%) stemmed from organization A, 537 email messages (30%) stemmed from organization B, and 572 email messages (32%) stemmed from organization C. Measures. The diary survey, with the short questionnaire included, was designed to measure the way in which the participants read the information they receive via electronic mail and to measure the possible explanations for reading email messages in a certain way. Possible explanations in the current study are (1) the type of information of email messages, (2) the source of email messages, (3) the need for cognition of organizational members, and (4) the role information plays in performing their job. Furthermore, the short questionnaire was designed to gather demographic data about the participants. The way in which the participants read email messages was measured by asking them on the one hand, how much they read of a certain email message and, on the other hand, how thoroughly they read a certain email message. For every email message, the participants could choose one of the following categories: (1) skimmed a part of the email message, (2) skimmed the whole email message, (3) read a part of the email message very thoroughly, (4) read the whole email very thoroughly, and (5) deleted the email message without reading it. The type of information of email messages was measured by asking the participants which type of information the email message does contain. The participants could choose one of the following categories: (1) job instructions, which is information about what to do and how to do their job, (2) job content, which is information needed to perform the job, such as journals, reports, etcetera, (3) corporate information, and (4) information about other activities in the organization, and (5) information which has nothing to do with the job or the organization. The source of email messages was measured by asking the participants who the source of the email message was. The respondents could choose one of the following categories: (1)

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 11
The data of the diary survey contains 1792 email messages. Of this total sample, 683
email messages (38%) stemmed from organization A, 537 email messages (30%) stemmed
from organization B, and 572 email messages (32%) stemmed from organization C.
Measures. The diary survey, with the short questionnaire included, was designed to
measure the way in which the participants read the information they receive via electronic
mail and to measure the possible explanations for reading email messages in a certain way.
Possible explanations in the current study are (1) the type of information of email messages,
(2) the source of email messages, (3) the need for cognition of organizational members, and
(4) the role information plays in performing their job. Furthermore, the short questionnaire
was designed to gather demographic data about the participants.
The way in which the participants read email messages was measured by asking them
on the one hand, how much they read of a certain email message and, on the other hand, how
thoroughly they read a certain email message. For every email message, the participants could
choose one of the following categories: (1) skimmed a part of the email message, (2)
skimmed the whole email message, (3) read a part of the email message very thoroughly, (4)
read the whole email very thoroughly, and (5) deleted the email message without reading it.
The type of information of email messages was measured by asking the participants
which type of information the email message does contain. The participants could choose one
of the following categories: (1) job instructions, which is information about what to do and
how to do their job, (2) job content, which is information needed to perform the job, such as
journals, reports, etcetera, (3) corporate information, and (4) information about other activities
in the organization, and (5) information which has nothing to do with the job or the
organization.
The source of email messages was measured by asking the participants who the source
of the email message was. The respondents could choose one of the following categories: (1)


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