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Reading electronic mail at the office: Exploring how and why organizational members read information
Unformatted Document Text:  Reading electronic mail 22 The difference between the three organizations might be explained by the fact that the organizations differed much from each other with regard to the way in which the jobs are arranged. For example, the organizational members from organization A have quite well- defined job descriptions, which implies that they are not involved in the description of their main job responsibilities. In other words, they just have to do the job which they are hired for. So, job information seems to be the most important type of information for these organizational members to enable them to perform their job successfully. Therefore, it seems reasonable to expect that the most important aspect of a message for them is the type of information of the message. The organizational members from organization B, on the other hand, do not have well-defined job descriptions. They have to achieve a certain goal, but they can decide for themselves how they are going to achieve that goal. Furthermore, the organizational members work together in different projects. Therefore, it seems reasonable to expect that they do not rely so much on particular types of information but more on particular sources, which enable them to perform their job successfully. The organizational members from organization C differed from each other in the way in which their jobs were arranged. On the one hand, there were organizational members with well-defined job descriptions, such as the organizational members in organization A, and on the other hand, there were organizational members without well-defined job descriptions, such as the organizational members in organization B. So, in this light, it is no surprise that the results of this organization showed a combination of the results of organization A and B. However, besides these differences as a result of the organizational context in which the organizational members have to participate, an exploratory pattern emerged from the results in the Figures 1, 3, and 5. Yet, we do not have the intention to draw general conclusions from this pattern. It is meant to serve as a first assumption for further research. With respect to the type of information as an email message characteristic, the results pointed

Authors: de Bakker, Suzanne. and Elving, Wim.
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Reading electronic mail 22
The difference between the three organizations might be explained by the fact that the
organizations differed much from each other with regard to the way in which the jobs are
arranged. For example, the organizational members from organization A have quite well-
defined job descriptions, which implies that they are not involved in the description of their
main job responsibilities. In other words, they just have to do the job which they are hired for.
So, job information seems to be the most important type of information for these
organizational members to enable them to perform their job successfully. Therefore, it seems
reasonable to expect that the most important aspect of a message for them is the type of
information of the message. The organizational members from organization B, on the other
hand, do not have well-defined job descriptions. They have to achieve a certain goal, but they
can decide for themselves how they are going to achieve that goal. Furthermore, the
organizational members work together in different projects. Therefore, it seems reasonable to
expect that they do not rely so much on particular types of information but more on particular
sources, which enable them to perform their job successfully. The organizational members
from organization C differed from each other in the way in which their jobs were arranged.
On the one hand, there were organizational members with well-defined job descriptions, such
as the organizational members in organization A, and on the other hand, there were
organizational members without well-defined job descriptions, such as the organizational
members in organization B. So, in this light, it is no surprise that the results of this
organization showed a combination of the results of organization A and B.
However, besides these differences as a result of the organizational context in which
the organizational members have to participate, an exploratory pattern emerged from the
results in the Figures 1, 3, and 5. Yet, we do not have the intention to draw general
conclusions from this pattern. It is meant to serve as a first assumption for further research.
With respect to the type of information as an email message characteristic, the results pointed


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