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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 12 a top manager, (2) my immediate supervisor, (3) an other supervisors, (4) a peer of my team/department, (5) a peer of an other team/department, and (6) someone outside this organization. The need for cognition of organizational members was measured by using the need for cognition scale. The original scale was developed by Petty and Cacioppo (1982), but in the current study a reliable and valid translation (Pieters, Verplanken, & Modde, 1987) of this scale was used, which consisted of 15 items. Responses were made on a 5-point Likertscale ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. In the current study, the scale was tested homogeneous (Cronbach’s alpha = .80). The extent of which information plays a role for the participants in performing their job was measured by using a scale developed for this study. The scale consisted of three items: (1) information plays hardly a role in performing my daily job, (2) information is a tool to perform my daily job successfully, and (3) my daily job is processing (reading, listening) information. Responses were made on a 5-point Likertscale ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. In the current study, the scale was tested homogeneous (Cronbach’s alpha = .69). Data analysis. As multidimensional scaling (MDS) is particularly useful to detect the ‘hidden structure’ in the data (Kruskall & Wish, 1978 p. 7), MDS is used to analyze the data of the current study. MDS is designed to determine positions of stimuli in a multidimensional space. The distances between the stimuli serve as empirical information. In the current study, email messages can be positioned in a multidimensional space on the basis of the information types and the sources. Furthermore, organizational members can be positioned in a multidimensional space on the basis of their need for cognition and the role information plays in performing their job. To enable MDS using these variables, several of the original variables were recoded.

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 12
a top manager, (2) my immediate supervisor, (3) an other supervisors, (4) a peer of my
team/department, (5) a peer of an other team/department, and (6) someone outside this
organization.
The need for cognition of organizational members was measured by using the need for
cognition scale. The original scale was developed by Petty and Cacioppo (1982), but in the
current study a reliable and valid translation (Pieters, Verplanken, & Modde, 1987) of this
scale was used, which consisted of 15 items. Responses were made on a 5-point Likertscale
ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree. In the current study, the scale was
tested homogeneous (Cronbach’s alpha = .80).
The extent of which information plays a role for the participants in performing their job was
measured by using a scale developed for this study. The scale consisted of three items: (1)
information plays hardly a role in performing my daily job, (2) information is a tool to
perform my daily job successfully, and (3) my daily job is processing (reading, listening)
information. Responses were made on a 5-point Likertscale ranging from 1=strongly disagree
to 5=strongly agree. In the current study, the scale was tested homogeneous (Cronbach’s
alpha = .69).
Data analysis. As multidimensional scaling (MDS) is particularly useful to detect the ‘hidden
structure’ in the data (Kruskall & Wish, 1978 p. 7), MDS is used to analyze the data of the
current study. MDS is designed to determine positions of stimuli in a multidimensional space.
The distances between the stimuli serve as empirical information.
In the current study, email messages can be positioned in a multidimensional space on
the basis of the information types and the sources. Furthermore, organizational members can
be positioned in a multidimensional space on the basis of their need for cognition and the role
information plays in performing their job. To enable MDS using these variables, several of
the original variables were recoded.


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