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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 18 Organization B. The participants deleted only 4.3% of the total number of email messages (N= 537) without reading them. Furthermore, they read most email messages in their entirety (72.4%). This means that 23.3% of the received email messages were not read in their entirety. With respect to how thoroughly the messages were read, more than half of the messages (52.8%) were skimmed while the other messages were read very thoroughly. Most of the email messages contained job information (63.5%). The rest of the messages contained organizational information (20.9%) and social information (15.6%). The participants received most email messages from peers (62.9%), followed by external sources (24.9%), and middle management (11.2%). The participants received only .9% of the email messages from someone of the top management. ------------------------------ Insert Figure 3 about here ------------------------------ The results in Figure 3 show that the cases are clustered on the basis of the source of the email message. This means that the source determines the way in which the message is read in organization B. In particular, email messages from middle managers can be considered as one cluster and email messages from peers can be considered as another cluster. Of these two clusters, the cluster with messages from middle managers were read more in their entirety and more thoroughly than the cluster with messages from peers. However, messages from peers were also read quite well. Furthermore, with respect to the email messages from external sources and from top management, these messages were read not very well.

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 18
Organization B. The participants deleted only 4.3% of the total number of email messages
(N= 537) without reading them. Furthermore, they read most email messages in their entirety
(72.4%). This means that 23.3% of the received email messages were not read in their
entirety. With respect to how thoroughly the messages were read, more than half of the
messages (52.8%) were skimmed while the other messages were read very thoroughly.
Most of the email messages contained job information (63.5%). The rest of the
messages contained organizational information (20.9%) and social information (15.6%). The
participants received most email messages from peers (62.9%), followed by external sources
(24.9%), and middle management (11.2%). The participants received only .9% of the email
messages from someone of the top management.
------------------------------
Insert Figure 3 about here
------------------------------
The results in Figure 3 show that the cases are clustered on the basis of the source of
the email message. This means that the source determines the way in which the message is
read in organization B. In particular, email messages from middle managers can be considered
as one cluster and email messages from peers can be considered as another cluster. Of these
two clusters, the cluster with messages from middle managers were read more in their entirety
and more thoroughly than the cluster with messages from peers. However, messages from
peers were also read quite well. Furthermore, with respect to the email messages from
external sources and from top management, these messages were read not very well.


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